Why Abbas Sees Little Risk in Curbing Palestinian Press Freedoms

Hamas supporters chant anti-Israeli slogans during a protest at the Palestinian Legislative Council, Gaza City, July 21, 2017 (AP photo by Adel Hana).
Hamas supporters chant anti-Israeli slogans during a protest at the Palestinian Legislative Council, Gaza City, July 21, 2017 (AP photo by Adel Hana).
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Over the summer, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a vague decree restricting freedom of expression on social media and online news sites, ostensibly to uphold “national unity” and the “social fabric.” Critics slammed the measure as an attempt to censure criticism of the Palestinian Authority. In an email interview, Charmaine Seitz, a consultant on the Middle East who formerly reported from Israel and the West Bank and Gaza, explains what’s behind the move, its impact on civil society, and how both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have curbed dissent. WPR: What steps has the Palestinian Authority taken to clamp down […]

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