Abbas‘ regime impose severe restrictions on foreign press

„The timing of the ban is no coincidence. It came in the aftermath of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Ramallah and Bethlehem, where Palestinian protesters set fire to and trampled on his pictures. The protests seriously embarrassed the Palestinian Authority, especially because they underscored the large gap between its leaders and the street.

While the Palestinian Authority continues to talk about making peace with Israel, many Palestinians are opposed to the idea; they argue that the leadership in Ramallah does not have a mandate to make any concessions to Israel.

These objections appeared in addition to some protests also directed against Mahmoud Abbas and his policies, especially against his declared opposition to an armed struggle against Israel and an alliance with the US and the West.

Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leaders went out of their way to show Obama that they are in full control and that they enjoy the backing of the overwhelming majority of Palestinians. But TV footage and news reports of the anti-Obama demonstrations threatened to spoil their effort to persuade Obama.

Particularly disturbing is that representatives of the international media have not protested against the Palestinian Authority’s threat to restrict the journalists‘ work and even arrest them. One can only imagine the response of the international media had the Israeli authorities issued a similar ban or threat.“

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