Palestinian Court Blocks 59 Websites Critical of PA

Palestinian journalists hold a protest in Gaza City against the Palestinian Authority's decision to block over 59 websites and Facebook pages. (Photo: via Twitter)

The Palestinian Authority has blocked 59 Palestinian and Arabic websites, including Quds News Network sites, following a decision by a local Magistrate’s Court.

Palestinians are angered at the decision which was revealed yesterday, as not a single site on the blocked list is Israeli.

Quds News challenged the PA’s decision to block its website for “harming civil peace”. According to the news network this move “reflects the [PA’s] repression of the press.”

Mariam Barghouti, a Palestinian American writer based in Ramallah, expressed her frustration at the consistent suppression of Palestinian voices.

Headed by judge Mohammed Hussein, the court’s decision issued last week claimed that such sites which publish pictures and articles threaten Palestinian national security and civil peace, as well as disrupt public order and morals, and arouse Palestinian public opinion.

Hossam Badran, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau, accused the court of “burying its head in the sand in its attempts to prevent freedom of expression, returning the [Palestinian] national press to the darkness sought by the Israeli occupation.”

He called on the PA to respect international law and conventions that guarantee freedom of opinion and expression, and the right of every citizen to have access to information and expression.

The head of the Palestinian Commission for Human Rights, Ammar Dweik, says that his organization will appeal against the ruling, which “restricts free reporting and free speech.”

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

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