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About Palestinian media
About Palestinian media

A longer explanation about Palestinian media is available 
HERE, from PMW's book Deception: Betraying the Peace Process


Palestinian Authority TV and radio (Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, PBC) are under the direct control of the Palestinian Authority under Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and are the official media of the PA government. WAFA Palestine News and Information Agency, the official Palestinian news service, is under the PLO Executive Committee, which is also headed by Mahmoud Abbas. The newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida is the PA’s official daily newspaper.

In January 2016, Abbas appointed Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf to the position of General Supervisor of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC, which includes PA TV and Voice of Palestine radio) and the official news agency WAFA. Ahmad Assaf is also the general supervisor of the Fatah-run Awdah TV station, indicating that these news outlets are closely connected and run by the same people in Fatah. [Fateh Media website, Jan. 31 and Feb. 13, 2015; Website of Fatah's Information and Culture Commission, Jan. 31, 2015]

The PA leadership actively uses its media to send out ideological and political messages to its people, and also exerts its influence over the independent media. Bassem Eid, Director General of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, explained in a 2009 interview that there was no freedom of expression under Abbas’s PA or under Hamas:

“’I do not think,’ Eid says, ‘that there is any kind of open media anywhere in the Palestinian territories, neither in Gaza nor the West Bank.’ Journalists continue to be confined in West Bank prisons, and critical media, he says, have been closed down. ‘Mr. [Mahmoud] Abbas,’ says Eid, ‘may talk about free media where he is ruling but in my opinion, as a human rights organization, we are receiving a lot of reports how the right of free expression is being completely violated by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and by the Hamas in the Gaza strip."
[JewishJournal.com, Nov. 25, 2009]
 
In 2010, Mahmoud Abbas, who serves as Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, the PLO and Fatah, announced a plan to make PA TV and radio more independent, while still being under his control, as head of the PLO:

“Yasser Abd Rabbo, Inspector General of the [PA’s] official media, has revealed that President Mahmoud Abbas, in his role as Chairman of the PLO, recently issued a presidential directive resolving to convert the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation and Palestinian television from a governmental institution into an independent public institution…
In response to a question concerning the dependence of the new TV Council on the President, Abd Rabbo said: ‘We find ourselves in circumstances involving political turbulence… Therefore, the only [and] most stable body is the PLO and the Presidency. Therefore, the [TV] Council is subordinate to the PLO Chairman.’”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 15, 2010]

However, that plan has not yet been implemented. Accordingly, while the PA media’s influence as educator of Palestinians varies depending on the number of viewers and readership at different times, the official media are excellent indicators of the ideology that the Palestinian Authority’s leaders wish to transmit to the their people.

Political, religious and ideological messages expressed today by PA and Fatah leaders, are repeated throughout Palestinian society. They are conveyed through a wide range of activities including, cultural expression, sporting events, religious teachings, music videos, and in political events. These messages reflect the beliefs, opinions and goals of the Palestinian Authority, and their repeated transmission through the different media and other structures the PA controls, indicates an intentional pattern rather than coincidence.

Abd Rabbo explained that once PA TV ceases to be “official TV”, it will no longer be a “mouthpiece” of the PA leaders’ ideology, since the goal is “to achieve a TV and radio broadcasting that will express the will of our Palestinian society in all its shades and contradictions, and [such] that the TV will not be the mouthpiece of the government, with an attempt to dictate to society and to direct it as the government sees fit.”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 15, 2010]

The Al-Hayat Al-Jadida paper reiterated in April 2014 that the Palestinian news agency WAFA, the Radio and Television Authority and the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida newspaper are “governmental media institutions.”
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 21, 2014]

A longer explanation about Palestinian media is available HERE, from PMW's book Deception: Betraying the Peace Process
WAFA, Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida are official PA media bodies 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 5, 2017
Headline: “The [PA] president receives a delegation from the official media”
       “Yesterday [Sept. 4, 2017] at the [PA] presidential headquarters in Ramallah, [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas hosted a delegation from the official Palestinian [PA] media, which included media members from the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation [PBC], the [official PA] Palestinian news and information agency WAFA, and the [official PA] daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, led by [General] Supervisor of the [PA] Official Media Ahmad Assaf. The delegation blessed the president for the blessed Eid Al-Adha (i.e., Muslim “Sacrifice Feast” holiday). It expressed its appreciation for the unending support from His Honor [Abbas] for the official media.”
Fatah Information Commission's official website 
Source: Website of Fatah's Information and ‎Culture Commission, Aug. 1, 2017
Headline: “Fatah has launched its official information website”
      “Fatah’s Information, Culture, and Indoctrination Commission has launched [its] official website in its new design… In order to view the Information, Culture, and Indoctrination Commission website, click on the following link: fatehmedia.ps.”
Fatah official denies Fatah-run channel Awdah to be closed 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 28, 2017
Headline: "Al-Qidwa denied that a decision has been published to close the Awdah satellite channel"
       "[Fatah] Commissioner of Information, Culture, and Indoctrination [and Fatah Central Committee member] Nasser Al-Qidwa denied the news item published on news websites regarding a decision to close the [Fatah-run] Awdah satellite [TV] channel and the firing of its employees. Al-Qidwa emphasized in a press release published yesterday [April 27, 2017] by the commission that they are working to develop the [Fatah] Movement's media outlets and to add to and build on what already exists."
Ahmad Assaf is head of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida’s board 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 14, 2017
       “The [official PA] daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida yesterday morning [March 13, 2017] honored its female employees for March 8, International Women’s Day. Head of the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Board of Directors [and General Supervisor of the PA Official Media] Ahmad Assaf and the daily’s Editor-in-Chief Mahmoud Abu Al-Hija were present at the tribute.”

Ahmad Assaf also holds the following roles: Chairman of the Board of the Palestinian News and Information Agency WAFA, and General Supervisor of Fatah-run Awdah TV.
Fatah: US embassy helped reinstate our Facebook page 
Source: MADA, Palestinian Center for Development and Media Relations, Mar. 5, 2017
     “On Feb. 26, [2017], the Facebook company closed the page of the Fatah Movement, claiming that it transgressed Facebook’s regulations. The following day it reinstated the page, claiming that it was just a mistake. It should be noted that it had already removed the page - which has over 70,000 followers - more than once during the last six months. Head of Information at the Fatah Commission of Mobilization and Organization Munir Radi Al-Jaghoub, 41, who is responsible for the page... said: ‘I contacted the international media, and then I received a call from the American embassy, which got involved and resolved the problem with the Facebook administration, and the page returned to action on Monday evening, Feb. 27, and they apologized and explained that what happened was a mistake.’”
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Note: The US State Department has "firmly" denied intevening with Facebook on Fatah's behalf.

Click "full article for a longer excerpt
Facebook shuts down Fatah’s Facebook page 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 28, 2017
Headline: "The Facebook administration closed down the official page of the Fatah Movement!"
     "The Facebook administration closed down the official [Facebook] page of the Fatah Movement which has more than 70,000 followers, after it received reactions from the local and international media. In a Fatah notice yesterday [Feb. 27, 2017] it was noted that this is the second time that the Facebook administration has closed down the page of the movement, after closing down the previous page (in June 2015 –Ed.) that had more than 100,000 followers. The notice was attributed to Fatah leadership member responsible for administering the page Munir Al-Jaghoub. He said that what made the Facebook administration close down the page is a historical picture that was recently posted, in which Fatah Deputy Chairman [and Fatah Central Committee member] Mahmoud Al-Aloul and Martyr (Shahid) symbol Yasser Arafat appear as he presents him with a weapon belonging to [Israeli] soldiers that Fatah in southern Lebanon captured. Al-Jaghoub said: 'We will continue to take pride in our historic leadership and the national heritage and the heritage of our struggle."
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Click "full article" for background information
PA Ministry of Information protests closure of Fatah's Facebook page as evidence of "bias" in favor of Israel that "creates terror and spreads hate" 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Feb. 28, 2017
Headline: "The [PA] Ministry of Information: Facebook's supervision of our forums is bias in favor of the occupation"
    "The [PA] Ministry of Information said that the fact that the Facebook administration closed the Fatah Movement's official page and the page of a private radio station constitutes blind bias in favor of the occupation, and siding with the hangman who creates terror and spreads hate through all the means and pictures day and night.
The ministry emphasized in a statement today, Tuesday [Feb. 28, 2017], that the targeting of the media platforms and Palestinian national platforms on social media constitutes blind bias in favor of the occupation and a violation of the international conventions and decisions. It also constitutes additional proof of an agreement - whose existence Facebook has been denying for a long time - between its administration and the freedom oppressing occupier (i.e., Israel) who disdains the international conventions..."
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PMW note: On Mar. 1, 2017, Facebook reinstated Fatah's account.

Click "full article" for a longer excerpt

Fatah protests closure of its Facebook page, says they will establish alternative pages 
Source: Wattan (independent Palestinian news agency)‎, Feb. 28, 2017
Headline: "A picture of late President Arafat causes the closure of the Fatah Movement's Facebook page"
       "The 'Facebook' social media administration closed the Fatah Movement's page on the site. According to the movement, the Facebook administration notified it that the reason for the closure was the posting of a picture of late President Yasser Arafat, in which he is seen holding a Kalashnikov rifle that had been in the possession of an Israeli soldier - after [the soldier] was captured in Beirut in the '80s - and next to him [current Fatah Deputy Chairman and] leadership member Mahmoud Al-Aloul.
Head of information at the Fatah Movement Bureau (sic., Commission) of Mobilization and Organization Munir Al-Jaghoub told the [independent Palestinian] news agency Wattan: 'The Facebook administration closed the page, which has approximately 70,000 followers, and said that the reason for the closure was that the picture contradicts Facebook's standards.' He added that 'The admin pages that manage this page were blocked for a period of 30 days.' [...] Al-Jaghoub continued: 'This page belongs to the [Palestinian] National Liberation Movement (i.e., Fatah), not a gang. It has had historical glory since the day of its founding.' He also emphasized that they will establish an alternative page and new accounts."
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PMW note: On March 1, 2017, Facebook reinstated Fatah's account. 

Click "full article" for a longer excerpt
Palestine Broadcasting Corp, WAFA news agency, and PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida are all headed by same Fatah spokesman 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 12, 2017
Headline: “Al-Quds Open University honored the general supervisor of the [Palestine] Broadcasting Corporation”

“Al-Quds Open University yesterday [Jan. 11, 2017] honored General Supervisor of the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), the Palestinian [PA official] news agency WAFA, and the [official PA] daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Ahmad Assaf for his contribution to the success of the Tenth Media and Communications Technology Day, which was held by the university’s media and communications technology center.”
Fatah proves that the Commission of Information and Culture’s website is official 
Source: Website of Fatah's Information and ‎Culture Commission, Nov. 8, 2016
     Headline: “Fatah warned of a false page bearing the same name as the official page of the [Fatah] Commission of Information and Culture”
“The Fatah Movement Commission of Information and Culture warned not to enter the false internet page (i.e., website) bearing its name. [Fatah] Movement Revolutionary Council member and Secretary-General of the Commission of Information and Culture Muwaffaq Matar said: ‘The official page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture is the one found at the link www.fatehmedia.ps and bears at its top the historical logos, including the map of Palestine (i.e., that presents all of Israel as “Palestine” together with the PA areas), and the logo of Al-Asifa (i.e., Fatah military unit) on the right side, and a picture of the president, the leader, and the symbol, Martyr (Shahid) Yasser Arafat and [PA] President and Commander in Chief Mahmoud Abbas on the left side.”
Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, WAFA, and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida are all official PA media 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 29, 2016
Headline: “Jerusalem is the capital of Arab media”
Excerpt from op-ed by Deputy Head of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate Dr. Tahsin Al-Astal
      “The top members of the media and editors-in-chief of the Palestinian newspapers and media outlets convened in a meeting regarding the decision of the Arab information ministers to declare occupied Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine, as the capital of Arab media, at the invitation of the [PA] Ministry of Information which was responsible for organizing the activities of the event… The [PA] Ministry of Information, the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, the Palestinian news agency WAFA, and the newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, as institutions of the official media of the State of Palestine, did all that was required of them in order to cooperate so that these activities would succeed and take place, as did the local radio stations and journalistic institutions.”
Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate condemns interview with Israeli Defense Minister as "unacceptable normalization with the occupation" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 25, 2016
Headline: “Journalists’ Syndicate condemns the interview conducted by the Al-Quds newspaper with Liberman”
     “The [Palestinian] Journalists’ Syndicate strongly condemned the fact that the Al-Quds newspaper that is published in Jerusalem held an interview with the occupation’s Army Minister (i.e., Israeli Defense Minister) Avigdor Liberman, and published it in yesterday’s edition [Oct. 24, 2016]. The syndicate said in a statement that it published yesterday, and which [the official PA news agency] WAFA received a copy of, that conducting the interview is in and of itself an unacceptable normalization with the occupation, and what is more – an alignment with it.
It again emphasized its firm opposition to all types of normalization with the occupation, including media normalization.”

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman gave an interview to the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds on Oct. 24, 2016, in which he promised to build a port and airport in Gaza if Hamas stops rearming and attacking Israel, and said he supports the two-state solution.
PA TV host announces boycott of Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds due to its interview of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Oct. 24, 2016
Official PA TV program This Morning, about boycotting the Al-Quds newspaper due to its interview of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
The PA TV hosts usually read the headlines from the local Palestinian newspapers at the beginning of the program.
Official PA TV host: "There is no choice but to mention on this morning [Oct. 24, 2016] that the Al-Quds newspaper is publishing a special interview with the occupation’s Minister of Army (i.e., Israeli Defense Minister) Avigdor Liberman. The newspaper and Hebrew sources announced last night that this interview took place five days ago, and the one called the coordinator of the occupation in the occupied areas is who organized this meeting. Actually, the social media websites and many Palestinian media people criticized this step by the Al-Quds newspaper that bears the name of the occupied Palestinian capital city and it is the one that conducted this interview with Liberman. Of course, Liberman is known for his positions and orientation and also his actions against the Palestinian citizens. The interview took place and the newspaper allocated a full page for it in addition to the front page with the headline. I will not read any of it. Perhaps Duha (i.e., other PA TV host) if he wants…
We are determined to boycott the news items of the [Al-Quds] newspaper today as a mark of protest over this interview. We will not read from the Al-Quds newspaper, but rather will make do with just the two newspapers Al-Ayyam and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida this morning."

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman gave an interview to the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds on Oct. 24, 2016, in which he promised to build a port and airport in Gaza if Hamas stops rearming and attacking Israel, and said he supports the two-state solution.
Palestinian Journalists Syndicate condemn beating and detainment of journalists by the PA Security Forces as "grave violation of freedom of the press" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 17, 2016
Headline: “The [Palestinian Journalists’] syndicate condemned the attack of [PA] Security [Forces] against the journalists in Jenin; Al-Damiri: We will investigate every complaint that a citizen submits”
     “The [Palestinian] Journalists’ Syndicate condemned the fact that a number of journalists in the city of Jenin, including member of the syndicate’s secretariat Jaafar Shtayyeh and the journalists Alaa Badarneh, Mujahid Al-Sa'adi, and Shadi Jarar'ah, were beaten and detained for a while. A spokesman of the [PA] security establishment clarified that what occurred in Jenin was part of the insistence of a number of people not to notify the relevant bodies in accordance with the law about public activities they are holding. The syndicate demanded ’that every security member who attacked journalists be held accountable,’ and emphasized that ‘it will not take lightly this issue which constitutes a clear and grave violation of freedom of the press.’…
Governor of the Jenin District Ibrahim Ramadan said in response to the efforts of the syndicate to deal with the issue: ‘We will assemble an investigative committee and will hold accountable every person or officer who attacked a journalist, and we hope that the syndicate will cooperate with us during the investigation.’…
[PA] Security Forces Spokesman Adnan Al-Damiri clarified that what occurred in Jenin ‘was part of the insistence of a number of people not to notify the relevant bodies in accordance with the law about public activities they are holding, and particularly those that stop traffic and the public life of citizens, and also as part of the attempt of a number of people to create unjustified friction with the Palestinian Security Forces in public places without any respect for the law."

For more, click "full article."
Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds: We refuse to be part of "the government media"; we support democracy and freedom 
Source: Al-Quds, Aug. 25, 2016
Headline:Al-Quds will remain loyal to the citizen’s right to know and committed to the national interest”
     “Al-Quds today constitutes a symbol of raising the Arab journalism to the highest levels. And it has proven its ability to keep up with [the pace of] the era. Likewise, it has refused and refuses to be a part of ‘the government media’ like some of the other newspapers and websites, which causes regular people to follow the Israeli media as a source of news.
We at Al-Quds wish to emphasize to our readers and our entire people that the newspaper will continue to adhere to its national path despite all the steps and the obstacles the occupation will place, and regretfully, despite the accusations that are being hurled against us, because we belong to the people and not to the political echelon.
We reiterate that Al-Quds does not receive orders from the [PA] Minister of Interior or from anyone from ‘above’ and is not subordinate to anybody, and there is no doubt that nobody can buy its words or positions. We request that this be clear to everyone. Al-Quds will continue to be a symbol to all the citizens adhering to the same way, while relying on the right of the citizen to know and on our belief in democracy, freedom, and the rights and freedoms set by the constitution, to which [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas] and late President Yasser Arafat before him confirmed their adherence.
We believe that the officials can withstand constructive criticism and respect the freedom of opinion anchored in law as a safety valve on the way to freedom, independence, and the building of our future state – a state of freedoms and law.”

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Fatah: Closing PA TV and Ma’an TV satellite channels in Israeli prisons and prohibiting “brave prisoners” from watching them is a “barbaric act”  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 2, 2016
      Headline: “Fatah and its Shabiba condemned the ban on [broadcasting] the Palestine and Ma’an satellite channels in the occupation’s prisons”
      “The Fatah Movement said that the closure of PA TV and Ma’an TV satellite channels in the Israeli prisons and the prohibiting our brave prisoners from watching them constitute a barbaric act that contradicts the most basic rights of our brave prisoners behind the occupation’s [prison] bars. Fatah Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi said: ‘This step is a clear expression of the moral crisis being experienced by the occupation government and additional proof of the professionalism and nationalism of these [TV] channels, who have proven the level of their impact on the public and on the public opinion of the Palestinian and international community…’ He added that… the closure of the PA TV and Ma’an TV satellite channels is an unethical act and an attempt to limit our brave prisoners, to break their will, and to dissuade them from their just demands.”
Click to view video
Following PMW’s exposure of TV program honoring terrorist prisoners Israel cuts off Ma’an TV in prisons 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, July 29, 2016
 

 
Visual on screen: PA TV rebroadcast of PMW's video exposing PA TV and Ma'an TV's terrorist glorification

Official PA TV newsreader: "Director of the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Karake said that the occupation authorities have decided to stop [broadcasts of] Ma’an TV within the prisons. He explained that the occupation justified this decision, claiming the channel engages in incitement (i.e., as exposed by PMW). Chairman of the Prisoners' Club Qadura Fares said that stopping the channel's broadcasts arises from opposition to the continued broadcasts of the program for prisoners presented by our colleague Samer Taym on PA TV... Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation condemned this step that comes after PA TV broadcasts were stopped within the prisons, and said that it will continue to transmit the prisoners' message in every way."
Click to view video
Palestinian Journalists Syndicate boycotts any Palestinian official who gives interview to Israeli media 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 30, 2016
Headline: “[Nasser] Abu Bakr: The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate is one of the five most important syndicates in the world”
Excerpt of interview with Chairman of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate Nasser Abu Bakr
     “Q. In an interview with you last October [2015] you called on all the journalists to boycott any Palestinian official that gives an interview to the Israeli media. How did the journalists respond to your call?
A. The Palestinian journalists are a unified group. We made the decision in the general secretariat of the union after long debates and checking the condition of the Israeli media. We have many documents that prove that it is a media that incites against the Palestinians, against the leadership, and against the Palestinian media institutions. Likewise, it is a media that embellishes the image of the occupation and falsifies the truth, and therefore, after long examinations, we reached the conclusion that no interview of [Palestinian] officials serves the Palestinian cause, but rather hinders them or uses them to blacken their faces and the face of the Palestinian people. For this reason, we saw that it is necessary to desist from any meetings with the Israeli press.”
50.7% of Palestinian youth are following the Palestinian news and social media about the 2015-2016 terror wave 
Source: Arab World for Research and Development (AWRAD), Mar. 28, 2016
Q: “Which statement best describes your level of interest in the ongoing protests since October 2015 (demonstrations, confrontations at contact areas, attacks on settlers and other Israelis)?”


Note: “[On] March 18-22, AWRAD conducted a survey of 1,200 Palestinian youth (18-52 years old) in the West Bank and Gaza.”
Palestinian NGO: Freedom of expression in the West Bank and Gaza deteriorated significantly in 2015, and included "interrogation processes, arrests, physical assaults, detentions and denial of coverage" 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Mar. 17, 2016

"The General Director of [The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms] MADA Moussa Rimawi said that the number of Palestinian violations against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza during 2015, has increased alarmingly (192 violations), as it soared 78 points which is equivalent to 68% when compared to 2014, whereas compared to the year 2013 it increased by 114 points which is equivalent to 146%. In other words, the annual increase rate of Palestinian violations during the past two years (2014 and 2015) reached 73%, which raises serious concerns in relation to the manner in which the official authorities deal with the freedom of expression and media in the West Bank and Gaza Strip."

For more details click on "full article"

Palestinian human rights organization criticizes new PA law that restricts freedom of speech 
Source: Al-Haq, Palestinian human rights NGO, Feb. 8, 2016
The PA recently [Dec. 29, 2015] ratified a law on the creation of a Higher Media Council, a body that would be responsible for regulating all forms of Palestinian media. The PA law, not yet in use, was by Abbas’ decree and was drafted without the involvement of the Palestinian media institutions. It was criticized by various Palestinian and international bodies for harming press freedoms. According to the law, the Council’s members would be drawn from the PA government, not from media professionals, and would be funded by the PA's budget, putting a regulatory body meant to be politically and financially independent under PA control. Following the criticism, the PA decided not to publish the law in the press. The following is the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council (PHROC)'s response to the proposed law, published by the Al-Haq human rights NGO:

"The Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council (PHROC) is dismayed with the executive authority’s decision not to publish the Decision by Law 2015 regarding the Higher Media Council in the public newspaper. The law was ratified on 15 December 2015 by the Council of Ministers and was then issued by the President on 29 December 2015. PHROC affirms that the law remains ineffective until it is published and that it is essential that the President retreats from signing the Decision by Law. PHROC calls for a system that is consistent with international standards and ensures legislative harmony through which legislation concerning media and opinion can be addressed. PHROC also calls on the elimination of the Ministry of Information's role in this regard and the establishment of an independent and active Higher Media Council."

Click "full article" for the full PHROC statement


Fatah opens new internet radio channel and news agency in Gaza Strip  
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 4, 2016
Fatah Commissioner of Culture and Information in Gaza Dr. Ahmad Hassan: “We are celebrating the launch of [internet radio channel] ‘Sawt Al-Jamahir’, the radio voice of Fatah in the Gaza Strip, and the launch of a news agency, and also a central agency of the Fatah Movement that broadcasts [news] from the Gaza Strip. These will be the forums through which the information and media department and the Supreme Leadership Council, the Commission of Information and Culture [will publish their news]. It will have an important role Allah willing.”
PA official media gets financial support ‎from the government 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 28, 2016
Headline: “Hamdallah emphasizes the ‎government’s support of the official media ‎and its advancement”‎
     ‎“[PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah ‎emphasized yesterday [Jan. 27, 2016] that ‎the government supports the official ‎media in order to advance it. This was ‎during his meeting in Ramallah with the ‎Supervisor of the Broadcast Authority and ‎Chairman of the WAFA Palestinian news ‎agency’s Board of Directors Ahmad Assaf ‎‎(Assaf is also spokesman for Fatah –Ed.).”‎
Palestinian media organizations condemn ‎new PA law that restricts freedom of ‎speech 
Source: Donia Al-Watan (independent Palestinian news agency), Jan. 20, 2016
     ‎"The ratification of the Palestinian Supreme ‎Council for Media’s law by the Palestinian ‎government and Palestinian President ‎Mahmoud Abbas has opened the door to an ‎argument between the [Palestinian] ‎Journalists’ Syndicate and a number of the ‎media institutions dealing with the ‎journalists’ issues concerning the law and ‎their opposition to the council, because of its ‎being officially subject to the PA and ‎presidential institutions. ‎‎(The law was ratified by the PA government ‎on Dec. 15, 2015 and presented by PA ‎Chairman Abbas on Dec. 29, 2015 –Ed.)‎ Omar Nazzal, a member of the council of the ‎Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, said that ‎his union supports the idea of the ‎establishment of a supreme council for ‎media in the Palestinian areas, as in Arab ‎countries such as Morocco and Tunisia.‎ Nazzal noted to Donia Al-Watan that the idea ‎of a supreme council for media depends on ‎the liberation of the media outlets from the ‎hold and rule of the [PA] government, toward ‎the establishment of an independent civilian ‎council comprised of experts and institutions ‎from the civilian sector, and that this is what ‎appeared in the draft [of the law] that was ‎completed in 2013 together with ‎representatives of the syndicate. He ‎emphasized that the Palestinian government ‎made changes in the topic of the law that ‎was ratified without involving the syndicate ‎or any of the media institutions. These ‎changes fundamentally destroyed the idea, ‎because the [media] council was turned into ‎a government council (i.e., not an ‎independent council)... and ‎that is what the Journalists’ Syndicate ‎opposes.‎

Click "full article" to view a longer excerpt of the article.
Abbas appoints General Supervisor of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of WAFA news agency 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Jan. 9, 2016
 Headline: “Assaf [was appointed] as General Supervisor of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) and Chairman of the WAFA Board of Directors” 
      “President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas decided to appoint Ahmad Najib Muhammad Assaf (Fatah’s official spokesman -Ed.) as General Supervisor of the PBC and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Palestinian News and Information Agency WAFA.”

Note: the PBC includes PA TV and Voice of Palestine radio, both official media of the PA.
Abbas tells International Federation of Journalists that he supports freedom of media, opinion and expression 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 26, 2015
Headline: “The president: ‘Free media is a basic need of our people’”
      “Yesterday [Nov. 24, 2015] evening, in the presidential compound, President Mahmoud Abbas received a committee from the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), led by the federation’s president, Jim Boumelha, to investigate Israeli crimes against Palestinian media. The president [Abbas] emphasized his absolute support of freedom of the media, and freedom of opinion and expression, such that Palestine will be a role model in this area. He noted that free media is a basic need of our people, in order to convey the suffering it experiences due to the occupation. Likewise, he, the president [Abbas], stressed the importance of the investigation committee’s work in exposing the occupation’s acts against the media, who work to convey the truth to the world.”
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida photographer wins prize for photo competition shaped as a map of “Palestine” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 17, 2015


Headline
: “Colleague Al-Rimawi won first place in the ‘Freedom for Prisoners 2015’ competition”
      “[Our] colleague, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida photographer Issam Al-Rimawi, won first prize yesterday in the newspaper photo category of the ‘Freedom for Prisoners 2015’ competition, which was held by the Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners' Affairs.”
The picture shows Issam Al-Riwami holding a plaque in the shape of a map of “Palestine” that includes the PA areas as well as all of Israel.
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PA daily praises Arafat’s talent at manipulating and utilizing the media in Palestinian favor, presented suicide bombings as “liberation” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 11, 2015
Headline: “The media was a tool like a rifle in Yasser Arafat’s life”

“’If the Elder (i.e., Yasser Arafat) had been alive, the Arab and international media would be loud and raging from the pictures of violation and crime carried out against the boy Ahmad Manasrah (i.e., young Palestinian terrorist who stabbed two and was shot by Israeli security), as he [Arafat] was not just a president, but a media person who knew how to harness the media to the cause’ – this is the essence of the matters about which the media people and officials who worked with the late President Yasser Arafat unanimously agreed.

Media person Fathi Al-Barqawi said: ‘He [Arafat] appreciated the media and knew how to use it. He read and followed every detail, and instructed officials around him to draw public attention in favor of the Palestinian cause. Therefore, a humanitarian matter such as the case of Ahmad Manasrah would have been turned into a matter of international opinion, due to his media skills and connections throughout the world.’

[Click full article for more information]
PA to investigate Joseph’s Tomb arson, but silent about terror attacks that killed Israeli civilians 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 17, 2015
This item was published during a terror wave in Israel that began in October 2015. The period saw an unusually high number of attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians, particularly stabbings, shootings, and rock-throwing, but also run-over attacks and throwing Molotov cocktails. As of this writing (Oct. 25, 2015), PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has not condemned even one of these terror attacks. Instead, Abbas continues pouring fuel on the fire by telling Palestinians that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger and encouraging them to "protect" it.  In this article, Abbas’ Ministry of Information calls for an investigation into the arson carried out by Palestinians against Joseph’s Tomb on Oct. 16, 2015. Abbas himself also publicly condemned the arson on Joseph’s Tomb. However, Abbas’ condemnation for the spate of terror attacks in which Israelis have been murdered is conspicuous by its absence.

“The PA Ministry of Information called on all the Palestinian and foreign media to be accurate, professional, and objective in reporting the news related to the burning of a side room in Joseph's Tomb next to the Balata [refugee] camp by unknown individuals in the early hours of the morning yesterday [Oct. 16, 2015]. Likewise, it called on them [the media] to follow this matter via the committee put together by the president in order to investigate what happened in the area of Joseph's Tomb. The police began to investigate the event, while some of the media sites intentionally relied on an unclear security notice, and some of the headlines on new sites noted that the tomb was burnt, and the truth is that the part that was burnt was new, added by the occupation to the holy site, after it occupied the West Bank.”
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida describes itself as “one of the official media institutions in Palestine” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 15, 2015
Headline: “Al-Hayat Al-Jadida has begun the approval of a code of conduct and ethics”

     “The Al-Hayat Al-Jadida newspaper has begun taking practical steps toward approval of a code of conduct and ethics, by allocating provisions that protect the employees’ needs on a journalistic and professional level, while maintaining a balance with the interests of the institution, as one of the official media institutions in Palestine.”
PA Government Media Center clarifies its official FB pages, warns against fake pages that use its name 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 13, 2015
Headline: “[PA] Government Media Center warns of fake [internet] pages that use its name for themselves”
     “The [PA] Government Media Center called on media outlets and citizens not to pay any heed to social media pages that use the name of the center for themselves and spread baseless rumors.
The center emphasized that its official page is www.facebook.com/pgmc.media (the page no longer exists –Ed.), and that the authentic page of the Government of the State of Palestine is www.facebook.com/GovernmentofPalestine. Likewise, it noted that the page named The National Palestinian Authority_Government Media is a fake page that has no connection to the center.”
Awdah TV is a Fatah-run channel 
Source: Website of Fatah's Information and ‎Culture Commission, July 20, 2015
Headline: “Melhem to the Al-Awdah satellite channel staff: ‘We are proud of your achievements and the spirit of self-sacrificing fighters (Fedayeen) in your work’”
     “Chairman of the Board of Directors of the REACH group and the satellite channel Al-Awdah Malek Melhem praised the giving of the channel’s staff in Ramallah and their determination to succeed… Melhem stated during his meeting with the channel’s staff today [July 20, 2015], Monday: ‘We are proud of your achievements, and this is the proof of the self-sacrificing fighter (Fida’i) spirit that motivates your giving and your work…’ Fatah spokesman and general supervisor of the channel Ahmad Assaf greeted the owner of the satellite channel Al-Awdah, Malek Melhem, and presented a summary of the stages the channel has gone through.”
PA daily under “intimate patronage” of ‎Abbas and is “national media”‎ 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 8, 2015
     ‎“On the eve of the celebration of its 22nd ‎anniversary, the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida family ‎and its board of directors celebrated the ‎opening of its main headquarters in the ‎city of El-Bireh, following its [the ‎headquarters’] renovation... [Head of the Al-Hayat Press, Printing ‎and Publishing House and Political ‎Advisor for President Mahmoud Abbas ‎Nimer] Hammad said that President Mahmoud ‎Abbas’ decision to take Al-Hayat Al-‎Jadida under his wing as part of the ‎‎[PA] official media resulted in the ‎consolidation of a newspaper that ‎provides more room for the freedom of ‎opinion, and expressed his hope that the ‎newspaper would also excel in the special ‎coverage of specific areas of life, such as ‎economy, youth, and universities. ‎
Editor-in-Chief Mahmoud Abu Al-Hija… ‎added:‎ ‎‘We hope to add a new, shining page to ‎the history of Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, ‎especially since we enjoy the intimate ‎patronage of President Mahmoud ‎Abbas, and through the Board of ‎Directors headed by Nimer Hammad, the ‎political advisor [to Mahmoud Abbas] who ‎diligently follows the work of the ‎newspaper despite his [other] ‎occupations.’ ‎Abu Al-Hija noted that President ‎Mahmoud Abbas’ patronage of Al-Hayat ‎Al-Jadida is not the patronage of an ‎official newspaper but of the national ‎media, so that it will be a media that ‎expresses the truthfulness of the ‎political message and the Palestinian ‎collective consciousness, and serve the ‎truth, especially through critical and ‎responsible texts.”‎
Human rights report: “Severe increase in violations of the rights of Palestinian journalists and their media institutions” 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Mar. 3, 2015
Headline: “Report: Israeli and Palestinian violations against journalists”
     “A human rights report showed that since last February [2014], there has been a severe increase in violations of the rights of Palestinian journalists and their media institutions…
Regarding the internal violations, the Media Union recorded ten violations against journalists and media outlets, and the implementation of a policy of [media] gagging, while the Palestinian Preventive Security Forces in Bethlehem in the southern West Bank continued to detain, for the sixth consecutive day, photojournalist Asid Al-Amarna of Transmedia Productions for his journalistic activity.”
39% of Palestinian households watch PA TV on a daily basis 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 3, 2015
"Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS)
Palestinian Culture Day 2015

On the eve of the Palestinian Culture Day, 13th March 2015, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics – following statistical review on culture of households and persons based on the Culture Survey Findings for 2014, presents the results as follows:
[...]
A Noticeable Rise in Percentage of Listeners to the Voice of Palestine in 2014 compared with 2009
The percentage of persons aged 10 years and above who listen to the Voice of Palestine increased to 54.9% compared to 27.8% in 2009.

About Four out of every 10 Households with a TV Set Watch Palestine TV [PA TV] on a Daily Basis
17.2% of households who have a TV set watch local television stations. Data also showed that 39.1% of households with a TV set watch Palestine TV [PA TV] on a daily basis: 44.1% for the West Bank and 29.3% for Gaza Strip. In comparison with 2009 this percentage was 25.3%."


PBC Chairman denies anti-Israel incitement on PA TV 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 23, 2015
     Official PA TV News interviewed Chairman of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation’s Board of Trustees Riyad Al-Hassan, on his refutation of the accusations levelled at him by Israeli Member of Parliament Danny Danon regarding incitement on Palestinian TV.

Chairman of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation’s Board of Trustees Riyad Al-Hassan: “[Israeli Member of Parliament Danny] Danon’s statements are not worthy of response. The statements are foolish and the [person] who made them is even more foolish. Palestine TV implements a balanced, moderate, professional and objective policy. The language we use on television - whether in the news, in reports or on programs - is moderate and restrained. It focuses only on exposing the facts and the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people. Neither we nor our European partners, nor even those who follow [our broadcasts] on the American side, have detected any incitement within the Palestinian discourse - whether the formal or the media discourse - adopted by the Broadcasting Corporation.”
PA TV program discusses whether ‎there should be limits to freedom of ‎expression for Palestinian journalists 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 23, 2015
Official PA TV program Media Café hosted ‎Bassem Abu Al-Rub, a journalist for ‎WAFA, the official PA news agency on ‎the issue of freedom of the press in the ‎PA media establishment:
Official PA TV host: “I would like to dwell a ‎bit longer on this freedom [of the press]. ‎OK, you think there is freedom in the ‎governmental media establishment. ‎During your time [at the WAFA news ‎agency], over the past five years, did you ‎ever have an article withdrawn, a report ‎censored, or did you ever receive ‎comments from your editors on a topic you ‎covered?”‎
Bassem Abu Al-Rub: “Not an entire article, ‎just parts, a few parts that were censored ‎due to general policy, editorial policy.”‎
Host [interrupts him]: “That ‎is, we can’t say there is complete ‎freedom.”‎
Abu Al-Rub: “Of course, of ‎course. Nowhere does freedom exist ‎completely. Even at home, one is with ‎one’s wife, and there is no complete ‎freedom.”‎
Host [chuckling]: “I mean at ‎work.”‎
Abu Al-Rub: “I’m telling you: No ‎matter where you go, there is no complete ‎or absolute freedom. Everything in our ‎lives is limited.” […]‎
Fatah website: Awdah TV channel “speak[s] in the name of the Fatah movement” 
Source: Website of Fatah's Information and ‎Culture Commission, Feb. 13, 2015
From an article by Sami Abu Tir on Fatah's Information and Culture Commission's website, first part published Jan. 31 and second part published Feb. 13, 2015:
      “Everyone in Palestine was looking for a channel that would speak in the name of the Fatah movement in order to defend its members and the higher national goals, which Fatah strives to achieve in its struggle for freedom and independence. Based on this and on the desired goal, Awdah TV was the Fatah movement’s main idea and purpose, and serious work has begun [to fulfill this purpose] according to the instructions of the leader of the national procession towards freedom and independence, President Mahmoud Abbas…
Because of His Honor [Abbas]’ total belief in the important role of the media – whether written or audio-visual – his instructions greatly affected the removal of obstacles and difficulties, enabling the appearance of Awdah [TV] in its present national format. Fatah's Information and Culture Commission cooperated with the owners of Awdah TV (Malek Melhem, a Fatah businessman -Ed.) and reached an agreement with them. An authentic national philosophy was formulated regarding the mission to be fulfilled by the TV channel – a mission of committed media, inspired by the national and democratic character of Fatah and the Palestinian people’s struggle against the oppressing, tyrannical occupation."

Click "full article" for a longer excerpt from the article and a description of Awdah TV
Abbas announces launch of new PA TV channel for Israeli Arabs: "Palestine '48 channel" 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Feb. 4, 2015
Headline: “The President [Abbas] at the dedication of a building of the Broadcasting [Corporation]: ‘We want objective media which will convey our message to the whole world’”

“During his tour of the new building of the Broadcasting Corporation, President Abbas announced the launch of the TV channel ‘Palestine 48,’ which will specialize in news about our people in the ’48 territories (i.e., Israel)… The President was accompanied on the tour by Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, Secretary-General of the Presidential Office, Head of the President's Office Hussein Al-A'araj, and General Supervisor of the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) Riyad Al-Hassan… Regarding the ‘Palestine 48’ channel, Minister Al-Hassan emphasized that its mission is to unite the Palestinian population blocs which are scattered because of the occupation, and thus to enlist public opinion in the ‘48 territories for the good of matters important to it [the population] and the matter of discrimination and oppression to which they are subjected.”
Fatah Information and Culture Commission: Awdah TV founded and run by Fatah members and represents the Fatah movement 
Source: Website of Fatah's Information and ‎Culture Commission, Jan. 31, 2015
“Here I will focus the attention on the same anonymous heroes and soldiers who stand behind the Palestinian creativity of the Awdah TV channel… among whom I will note the following heroes:
1. The first and authentic champion… is the maestro and general supervisor of the Awdah TV channel... he is the official spokesperson of the Palestinian national liberation movement ‘Fatah’, who adds a special sparkle to Fatah’s media since assuming this responsibility…
This is Ahmad Assaf… Everyone knows Assaf as the spokesperson of the beloved Fatah movement, due to his appearances on the small screen and in various media outlets. But what many don’t know ... is that he is a real star who stands behind the development of the Awdah TV channel, and one of the important creative minds responsible for the shining, attractive appearance [of the channel]… because he is the general supervisor of Fatah’s Palestinian channel, Awdah. After he was appointed supervisor of the channel, our champion Ahmad Assaf succeeded – thanks to his pioneering and fervent efforts – in making fundamental changes to the image the channel. He succeeded in changing it from a channel that is satisfied with broadcasting songs, cultural heritage programs and other light programs, to the channel we see today, which attracts the esteemed viewer by transmitting a national message of liberation, which is committed, and draws from the character of the Fatah movement and its struggle against the occupation.
Ahmad Assaf is also the director and chief supervisor of a prominent Fatah national Palestinian radio station the only radio station that officially speaks for Fatah – Radio Mawtini.

2. The second champion I am talking about, who stands behind the success of the Awdah TV channel, is the owner of the channel, a Fatah member, and a patriotic business man…
This champion used his mon
PA Ministry of Information confirms PA TV ‎is official government channel 
Source: Website of the Palestinian National Media ‎Center, affiliated with WAFA (the official PA ‎news agency), Dec. 16, 2014
     ‎“With the establishment of the [PA] Ministry ‎of Information in 1994, the Ministry granted a ‎permit to the Official Television [PA TV] (land ‎and satellite channels) [parenthesis in ‎source], currently mainly based in Ramallah, ‎in addition to permits to 32 TV and radio ‎stations operating in the Palestinian ‎territories.”‎

Note: This excerpt was accessed on Dec. 16, 2014.
Abbas’ office fires PA TV News Director 
Source: Wattan News Agency, Dec. 3, 2014
The following article shows that PA Chairman Abbas has full control over PA TV, including dismissal of staff.
     “Exclusive inside sources have informed the Wattan News Agency that a decision to relieve Ahmad Zaki of his position as news director of Palestine TV (i.e., PA TV) was published today, Wednesday. The sources told Wattan News that a high-level official at the President’s [Abbas’] Office had informed Zaki in person of the decision to relieve him of his position, without him having received any official letter regarding the matter.  During a phone interview with Wattan News, Zaki refused to either deny or confirm the report of the layoff, while Riyad Al-Hassan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Public Palestinian Television and Radio Authority, did not answer the phone.
Zaki was fired after expressing his stated position regarding the Egyptian talk show host Tawfiq Okasha on Palestine TV, which led to a broad wave of condemnations from journalists and others. Ahmad Zaki, news director of Palestine TV, described the talk show host Tawfiq Okasha as an Israeli agent on his Facebook page, where he had written: ‘I have nothing to do with what happened.  It was the Awdah satellite channel that hosted Okasha, not Palestine TV.’ He added: ‘This animal, who hopes Israel will wipe out half my nation, is a base spy, not worth the shoe he threw on his TV channel, which is in crisis.’”
Head of PA TV refutes Israeli accusation of incitement: “We do not incite; we cover reality. The reality is harsher… than any incitement” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 2, 2014
Official PA TV News interviewed General Supervisor of the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) Riyad Al-Hassan about a claim made by Israeli TV Channel 10 that PA media, first and foremost PA TV, is deliberately inciting against Israel in order to create a conflict, under direct supervision of the PA leadership.
General Supervisor of the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) Riyad Al-Hassan: “The broadcasting of images, the filming of the events, the filming of the Israeli attacks, the attacks of the settlers and the Israeli army, the Gaza War, the continuing daily attacks on our holy places and our capital Jerusalem - the Israelis consider the mere filming of these events incitement, and they would prefer that our national media ignore what is happening in our land of Palestine. We do not incite; we cover reality. The reality is harsher and more abominable than any incitement. ”
Awdah TV station is run by Fatah 
Source: WAFA, official PA news agency, Nov. 27, 2014
Headline: “Melhem [Malek, head of the directorial board of the Awdah satellite channel]: The fact that Awdah won the prize for best political program proves its professionalism.”

“The general supervisor of the [Awdah satellite] channel, Ahmad Assaf, said that the prize was awarded in recognition of the efforts invested by the staff of the channel, which is proud to belong to its homeland Palestine and [is proud of] its commitment to the national project, which is led by Fatah, the national movement of the Palestinian people.”

Note: Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf posted this WAFA report on his personal Facebook page on the same day.
Abbas issues decree changing the board of WAFA, the official PA news agency 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 10, 2014
     “[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas published a decree on changing the makeup of the directorial council of the Palestinian news agency WAFA, which is headed by Ali Hussein. The decree reads as follows:
‘Decree No. () for the year 2014
The President of the State of Palestine
The Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee

After examining the sections of the PLO constitution, the amended sections from 2003 and its amendments, and Presidential Decree No. 6 for 2011 regarding the regulation of the activity of the Palestinian news agency WAFA; on the basis of the authority that has been entrusted to me, and out of a will to realize the public interest, I have decided as follows:

Section 1: The following changes are to be made to the makeup of the directorial council of the WAFA news agency…

Section 2:
Cancellation of anything contradicting the sections of this decree.

Section 3:
It is incumbent upon all relevant parties, each in his own area, to implement the sections of this decree and act accordingly, from the date of its publication.

Ramallah, October 3, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas
President of the State of Palestine
Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee’”
From WAFA, the official Palestinian Authority news agency
PA TV ratings increase since end of Gaza War 
Source: Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), Sept. 29, 2014
     “Viewership of Hamas TV, Al-Aqsa, drops from 37% a month ago to 24% in this poll. Al-Jazeera viewership rises from 21% to 24%, Palestine TV from 16% to 20%.”

Note: The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip conducted this poll Sept. 25-27, 2014, a month after the Gaza War ended.
Hamas TV viewership at an all-time high 
Source: Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), Sept. 2, 2014
     “For the first time ever, Hamas’ official TV station, Al Aqsa, is the one with the most viewership (37%) in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip followed by al Jazeera (21%), Palestine TV (16%), Ma’an-Mix (11%), and al Arabiya (5%).”

Note: This poll was conducted on August 26-30 in the aftermath of the 2014 Gaza war, during which Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel and Israel responded with Operation Protective Edge, which aimed at destroying Hamas' terror infrastructure and ability to launch rockets at Israel.
Click to view the full poll in PDF or click to view the poll on PSR's website.
Official PA daily: Hamas accused a journalist of "high treason" because "she didn't write what they wanted‎" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 26, 2014
Op-ed by Hafez Barghouti, former editor-‎in-chief of official PA daily
     ‎“In an earlier op-ed, I mentioned a ‎publicist who writes her journal under fire, ‎in a humane and apolitical way, without ‎pushing her pen to vilify and attack. She ‎talks about the life of a family under fire, ‎about the street, the neighborhood, the ‎wounded and the Martyrs (Shahids), about ‎her sons and daughters. One day, her pen ‎crossed the line. She wrote about a boy ‎searching for food in the trash, and the ‎knights (sarcastic reference to Hamas –‎Ed.) became enraged. They accused her ‎of high treason, dishonored her and ‎harassed her daughter with rumors, ‎because she didn’t write what they ‎wanted. She didn’t say she had seen ‎angels descending from heaven and ‎stopping the enemy. She didn’t say the ‎Martyr-children of Gaza yearned for ‎Martyrdom (Shahada) and hunted the ‎enemy rockets so as to be engulfed by ‎their shrapnel. She didn’t say the ‎displaced – more than a third of Gaza’s ‎residents – live in paradise, delighted at ‎the destruction the occupation has ‎granted them.‎
This is the reality experienced by all who ‎call for stopping the aggression and ‎preventing the bloodshed of innocent ‎people. ‎"‎

Click "full article" for more.
Abbas appoints editor of official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida by presidential decree 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 25, 2014
     “[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas published a presidential decree appointing author Mahmoud Abu Al-Haija Editor-in-Chief of the [official PA daily] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida newspaper. Immediately after receiving the presidential decree, which was published on June 22, Al-Haija expressed his deep gratitude and appreciation of the great trust placed in him by President Mahmoud Abbas. He emphasized that he and his colleagues at the newspaper would work with all their might to live up to the President’s and the leadership’s expectations and to prove themselves worthy of this trust.
He emphasized that Al-Hayat Al-Jadida would continue to work for and to contribute to Palestinian society, and would remain a professional platform expressing our people’s sentiments and aspirations.
It should be noted that Al-Haija has held prominent positions in several media institutions, and that he is a writer and poet.”
Abbas ousts Fatah official who criticized him 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 1, 2014
     ‎“Fatah Commander-in-Chief Mahmoud ‎Abbas has decided to oust five of the ‎movement’s members. The decision read: ‎‎‘After examining the movement’s ‎regulations… and in keeping with the ‎authority accorded to us, we have decided ‎to oust [the following members] from the ‎movement: M ajed ‎ Abu Shamaleh, ‎Nasser Jum’a, Abd Al-Hamid Al-Masir, ‎Sufian Abu Zaydeh, and Rashid Abu ‎Shubak.’”‎
From WAFA, official PA news agency

Note: ‎Sufian Abu Zaydeh is known as an opponent ‎of Mahmoud Abbas. In an op-ed published ‎by Ma’an on June 27, 2013, he sharply ‎criticized Abbas’ monopolization of power in ‎the PA. The PA condemned Abu Zaydeh for his criticism.
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, PBC and WAFA are ‎‎“official media institutions”‎ 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 22, 2014
     ‎“The [Palestinian] Journalists’ Syndicate ‎held an initial meeting of the workers’ ‎committees of the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida ‎newspaper, the Public Palestinian ‎Television and Radio Authority (i.e., PBC ‎‎– Palestine Broadcasting Corporation) ‎and the WAFA [official Palestinian] news ‎agency, at its headquarters in El-Bireh ‎yesterday [May 21, 2014]. ‎
Nasser Abu Bakr, Omar Nazzal, Muntasir ‎Hamdan and Nabhan Khreishah from the ‎Syndicate were present at the meeting, ‎during which they reviewed and ‎discussed the draft of the collective labor ‎agreements [to be signed] between the ‎above official media institutions and the ‎journalists who work for these institutions. ‎In addition, numerous amendments and ‎suggestions for the draft of the ‎agreements were submitted, and official ‎letters were sent to the managements of ‎the above institutions in the name of the ‎members of the workers’ committees of ‎these institutions, so that separate ‎meetings be held in the future with the ‎representatives of these institutions, to ‎separately discuss the specific affairs and ‎needs of each media institution. At the ‎final [stage], meetings will be held with all ‎members of the workers’ committees, to ‎produce a collective labor agreement for ‎each government media institution.”‎
For the first time in seven years, Hamas and the PA allow distribution of each others' newspapers 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 11, 2014
     “For the first time in seven years, a pro-Hamas newspaper appeared in the newspaper stands in the West Bank yesterday [May 10, 2014] – an additional indication of the fruits of the beginning of the implementation of the reconciliation agreement [between Fatah and Hamas].
The PA gave permission for the printing of the Falastin daily three days after Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, allowed the Al-Quds newspaper, which is published in the West Bank, to sell copies in the Gaza Strip…
Deputy [PA] Minister of Communications Mahmoud Khalifa told AFP: ‘There is no problem with printing or distributing Falastin and Al-Risala (Hamas-affiliated newspaper) in the West Bank. According to [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas’ instructions, both newspapers have received approval.’
At the same time, the West Bank papers Al-Ayyam, Al-Quds, and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida were distributed in the Gaza Strip over the past two days, according to reports [printed] on their front pages.
The number of copies distributed by each paper is unknown, but the three papers, Al-Ayyam, Al-Quds and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, are the most popular among Palestinians – especially Al-Quds, being the oldest.”
Hamas to allow redistribution of banned PA newspaper 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, May 7, 2014
Taken from Ma'an's English website
Headline:
Hamas to allow redistribution of banned newspaper
     "Hamas will allow the redistribution of a West Bank based newspaper in the Gaza Strip on Monday, seven years after it was banned, a Hamas official said. Gaza government spokesman Ihab al-Ghussein confirmed to Ma'an that the daily Al-Quds newspaper will be available again in the Gaza Strip.
The redistribution of factional media was demanded by the public freedoms committee, one of several subcommittees tasked with monitoring the implementation of a recent unity deal between Palestinian political factions.
Since 2007, the Hamas government has banned the distribution of the Al-Quds newspaper, the most widely read Palestinian daily broadsheet, Al-Ayyam, which is generally pro-Fatah, and Al-Hayat al-Jadida, which is an official paper of the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority has banned the distribution of the Hamas-affiliated Gaza newspapers Al-Risalah, Palestine and al-Istiqlal.
Al-Ghussein added that Hamas would release a number of political detainees in the coming days. On Sunday, Abd al-Salam Siyam, secretary-general of the Gaza government's cabinet, said in a statement that some 3,000 PA security officers would be sent to Gaza to begin implementing the Hamas-PLO unity deal reached on April 23. The officers worked in Gaza before the PA left the coastal enclave in 2007.
The division between Fatah and Hamas began in 2006, when Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections.In the following year, clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of parts of the occupied West Bank. The groups have made failed attempts at national reconciliation for years, most recently in 2012, when they signed two agreements -- one in Cairo and a subsequent one in Doha -- which have as of yet been unimplemented.''
Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate signs labor agreements to protect workers' rights 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 4, 2014
     “The Chairman of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate [Abd Al-Nasser Al-Najjar]… said that for the first time in the region, the Syndicate has begun signing collective labor agreements with the official media institutions: the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, the WAFA [official PA news] agency and the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida newspaper. Later on, it will continue signing them [the agreements] with private media outlets, to cement the rights [of the workers] and improve [their] work environment.”
WAFA, the Radio and Television Authority and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida are “governmental media institutions” 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 21, 2014
     “The [Palestinian] Journalists’ Syndicate’s subcommittees in the governmental media institutions discussed the Syndicate’s demands, which had been prepared by the journalists working in [the institutions]… during a workshop organized by the [Palestinian] Journalists’ Syndicate and the International Federation of Journalists in Ramallah yesterday [April 20, 2014]. [During the workshop,] the subcommittees that had been selected within the Palestinian news agency WAFA, the Radio and Television Authority and the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida newspaper [discussed] the issue of the collective agreements in the governmental media institutions.”
From WAFA, official PA news agency
Freedom of press violations on the rise in PA territories 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 9, 2014
     “[In its] monthly report, the Freedom Committee of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate indicated a serious increase in freedom of press violations in the Palestinian territories…
[The article describes a series of freedom of press violations by Israel, including claims that live ammunition was used against journalists. The article also includes a shorter list of Palestinian violations:]
March 6 – Al -Hurra TV reporter Faten Al-Wan and Al-Hurra TV photographer Yahya Habayed were shoved and threatened by a security guard while covering a women’s sit-down strike in front of the Muqata’a (the PA's Presidential Headquarters) in Ramallah.
March 9 – The [PA] Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Ramallah prevented an appreciation [ceremony] for journalist Nahed Abu Teimah [from taking place] in response to comments [she posted] on her Facebook page.
March 15 – [PA] Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara filed a lawsuit against journalist Ja’afar Sadqa for publishing an article about the Finance Ministry.
March 29 – Palestinian Security personnel prevented a crew from local Wattan TV… from covering a Hizb Ut-Tahrir [political organization] protest in the Abd Al-Nassar Mosque in Ramallah.”
Photographers arrested for taking pictures of clash between PA Security forces and protesters 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 8, 2014
     “Regarding PA violations [of freedom of press], MADA – the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms] recorded one violation in the [West] Bank, in which national security personnel and police arrested two photographers from the Raya communications agency, Samer Nazzal and Shadi Hatem, as they were photographing clashes that broke out between [PA] Security Forces and residents of the Jalazone refugee camp. [The clashes erupted] because [the residents] blocked the road leading to Ramallah in protest of the UNRWA workers’ strike that began over forty days ago. This took place on Tuesday, January 14, 2014.”
From WAFA, official PA news agency
Deviation from “sermon topic demanded by the Ministry” only permitted if preacher can “convince” minister 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Feb. 6, 2014
Official PA TV program Topic of the Day hosted PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash.
PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “We determined more than four years ago that the [Friday] sermon would have a unified theme - not that the sermon [itself] would be unified. There’s a difference between the two things. For example, [in a sermon] about the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the importance of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the preacher can decide how to express the content of this sermon. Apart from this, if [the preacher has decided] there is a social, human or national issue more important than the sermon topic demanded by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, he can change it… he only needs to convince me that the topic he has chosen is more important than the one we chose; he shouldn’t say: ‘this came from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, I don’t want to listen to them.’ You are a clerk, after all.”
Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms expresses concern over journalist arrests 
Source: Al-Quds, Dec. 13, 2013
     “The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, MADA, expressed its concern and worry in view of violations against journalists that were recorded in PA areas, in Gaza and in the [West] Bank.
This was said in its monthly report, which included violations recorded by the center during the past November [2013]…
The report said that the Palestinian investigation department in Salfit arrested director of the Voice of Tomorrow radio station, Majdi Taha, on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, for his report on the disappearance of a young girl from the village of Biddya. In addition, on Sunday evening, Nov. 10, 2013, the Bethlehem police arrested director of Radio Bethlehem 2000, George Qanawati, in his home, for [material broadcasted on] his weekly radio program Peace, Land.
Internal Security personnel in the Gaza Strip arrested French agency photographer Yahya Hassouna on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, while he was preparing a report on the ninth anniversary of President Yasser Arafat’s death.
In addition, on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, Presidential Guard Intelligence Service personnel arrested the Wattan TV crew, including 26-year-old reporter Ibrahim Anqawi and 33-year-old photographer Nael Al-Rajoub, while they were preparing a report on front organizations near the Muqata’a (the PA's Presidential Headquarters) in the city of Ramallah.
In addition, Preventive Security Forces in the city of Tulkarem summoned Wattan TV reporter Sami Al-Sa’i on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.”
PA denies that investigation of journalist has anything to do with her open letter criticizing the PA 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 7, 2013
On Dec. 4, 2013, Palestinian journalist Iman Hareedy posted an open letter criticizing Abbas and the PA on her personal Facebook page. In the letter, she complained that jobs for young Palestinian professionals are scarce and that only those with connections to the PA manage to find decent jobs. A day later, Hareedy posted a summons that she received from the CEO of PA TV requiring her to attend a formal inquiry. A few days later, the PA daily published the following article, denying that the reason for Hareedy’s summons was her criticism of Abbas and the PA:
Headline: “The Public Television and Radio Authority (i.e., PBC – Palestine Broadcasting Corporation): ‘The employee’s summons for inquiry was an internal matter that concerns the Authority.”
     “Palestine Public Broadcasting Corporation said ‘the summoning of one of the employees for an inquiry by an internal committee took place following her writing about an internal matter concerning the [Public Broadcasting] Corporation, and specifically her misleading allusions to the organizational structure, and [did] not [happen] because of what she published about President Mahmoud Abbas on the social networking website [Facebook].’
In a clarifying public announcement, the [Public Broadcasting] Corporation added yesterday evening [Dec. 6, 2013] that ‘it respects freedom of speech and opinion and [that] its management does not interfere except in what [constitutes] a violation of the code of ethics and the Civil Service Law.’”
From WAFA, official PA news agency

Note: To view Hareedy’s Facebook post criticizing the PA and her post publicizing the summons she received, click “full article” below.
Journalists strike against attacks in violation of freedom of speech 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 15, 2013
     ‎“Dozens of journalists held a sit-down ‎strike in front of the PA Presidential ‎Headquarters in Ramallah, to protest the ‎arrest of and attacks on journalists by the ‎Security Forces in recent days, and ‎demanded that the government officially ‎condemn the attacks and to act to prevent ‎their recurrence. ‎
In a letter delivered to the prime minister ‎as well as on placards displayed during ‎the sit-down strike, the sit-down strikers ‎called for the cessation of what [they] ‎described as the suppression of freedoms ‎and the silencing, arrest and persecution ‎of journalists, while others called for ‎respecting and strengthening freedom of ‎the press and freedom of speech and ‎opinion.‎
The sit-down strike came in response to ‎the arrest of George Kanawati, director of ‎the Bethlehem 2000 radio station, and ‎Sami ‎ Al-Sa'i, a correspondent for the ‎Wattan News Agency in Tulkarem by the ‎Security Forces, in addition to what was ‎termed the persecution and summoning ‎for questioning of journalists, which had ‎stoked the journalists’ anger and drawn ‎their condemnation.‎..
‎[PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah ‎asserted his pledge to [support] freedom of ‎the press and journalism in Palestine, and ‎‎[said] the government would investigate ‎the issue of the sit-down strike and ‎examine all of the journalists’ demands. In ‎addition, he promised to demand ‎accountability from those involved, in the ‎event proof was found that violations had ‎been committed.” ‎

For more, click "full article."
Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate achieves release of journalist held in violation of freedom of speech 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 13, 2013
‎“The Bethlehem Magistrate’s Court ‎postponed the examination of the two ‎lawsuits filed against George Kanawati, ‎the director of the Bethlehem 2000 radio ‎station, to the second of next month ‎‎[December 2013]. The efforts invested by ‎the [Palestinian] Journalists’ Syndicate ‎were crowned [with success] two nights ‎ago [Nov. 11, 2013] with the release of ‎Kanawati, who appeared in court [as it] ‎was discussing the lawsuit filed against ‎him by the Bethlehem District Police ‎Chief, the legal officer Alaa Al-Shalabi ‎, ‎on charges of foul language and ‎contempt, in addition to an additional ‎lawsuit filed by the Security [Forces] ‎personnel, who accused Kanawati of ‎attacking them as he was being arrested ‎at his home on Sunday evening [Nov. 11, ‎‎2013].‎
The Journalists’ Syndicate postponed its ‎sit-down strike in front of the Bethlehem ‎District Police Center, which it had called ‎‎[to hold] yesterday morning [Nov. 12, ‎‎2013], after the success of its efforts to ‎bring about Kanawati’s release. Several ‎journalists, meeting in the building of the ‎Bethlehem 2000 radio station last night, ‎condemned any steps taken against ‎journalists regarding freedom of speech.”‎
Palestinian journalist "violently" arrested for "foul language and contempt" on radio station 
Source: Homepage of the Bethlehem 2000 radio ‎station‎, Nov. 10, 2013
     ‎“The Palestinian Police in Bethlehem ‎arrested the director of the Bethlehem ‎‎2000 radio station, journalist George ‎Kanawati, in his home in Beit Sahour on ‎Sunday evening. Witnesses reported that ‎journalist Kanawati was arrested ‘violently’ ‎and in an unacceptable manner, after his ‎home was entered and searched in ‎keeping with a subpoena issued by the ‎Palestinian Prosecutor General…‎
On this issue, the [Police’s] Public ‎Relations and Information Commissioner ‎Luay Zreiqat said that the arrest was ‎carried out according to an order issued by ‎the prosecutor’s representative in ‎Bethlehem, on charges of foul language ‎and contempt on Kanawati’s weekly ‎program.”‎
News sites accuse hackers of limiting journalistic freedoms 
Source: Al-Ayyam, Oct. 4, 2013
     “Yesterday [Oct. 3, 2013], the [Palestinian] Press Association condemned the hacks to which several Palestinian media [internet] sites have fallen victim, which prevented them from publishing. The Amad, Al-Ahed and Karama Press [news] sites, in addition to several more sites, fell victim to hacks that began two days ago.
In its announcement, the Association said that it is of the opinion that ‘these hacks indicate that there is a group of thieves and obscurantists that is trying, in any possible way, to control media reports and prevent the platforms of freedom and those who have opinions, to convey the Palestinian people’s message to the world.’
The Association considered this behavior ‘harming the Palestinian people and its ongoing struggle,’ and called to take any measures to ensure the protection of the electronic media platforms, without any regard of their political inclinations, as long as they follow Palestinian law and the Journalists’ Code of Ethics. It also demanded that they (the media sites) be encouraged and be given assistance to continue their journalistic work and [convey their] humanitarian message.”
From WAFA, official PA news agency

Note: The Amad, Al-Ahed and Karama Press are internet sites that are known to speak out against PA Chairman Abbas.
No reports in PA media on Abbas’ condemnation of the murders of two Israeli soldiers 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Sept. 24, 2013
During a meeting with Jewish leaders in New York on Sept. 25, 2013, Mahmoud Abbas condemned the killings of two Israeli soldiers who had been murdered a few days prior. Abbas’ condemnation, which was stated in front of a Jewish audience only, was not reported by official PA media. Reports in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on the killings (Sept. 22-23, 2013) did not include any official Palestinian response to the events. Furthermore, the official PA news agency WAFA, which reported on Abbas’ meeting with Jewish leaders in New York, contained nothing about Abbas’ condemnation of the attacks.

Headline:
“Our correspondent clarifies what exactly was said by Mahmoud Abbas about the killing of the [Israeli] soldiers in the West Bank”
     “Comrade [director of the Ma’an news agency] Nasser Al-Lahham clarified exactly what President Abbas said to the Jewish lobby in New York concerning the killing of the Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. After President Abbas delivered the speech he had written… he allowed the audience to ask questions. One of the Jewish leaders asked him about the killing of the two soldiers, and the President said as follows: ‘They were killed in Area C, which is under Israeli control, and is not an area controlled by Palestinian security forces… Nonetheless, we condemn the killing and denounce it. We demand that the Israelis condemn killings, such as the killing of four Palestinians in a refugee camp near Jerusalem a while back. I condemn killing anywhere, and we must make peace instead of killing.’
A senior Palestinian official expressed his surprise at how Israeli radio reported the matter under the headline ‘Abbas expresses condolences on the death of the two soldiers’ and contented itself with this headline without relating to President Abbas’ answer exactly as it was given. “
Authorities in Gaza and West Bank monitor social media and force journalists to reveal private passwords 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 7, 2013
     “The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, MADA, published a special report, which put the real state of the internet and freedom of the press in Palestine under the spotlight…
Over the course of the past year and this year [2012-13], the MADA center has been monitoring violations committed against journalists after they posted their opinions on Facebook. In addition, several journalists reported to the center that during their interrogation, the Security Forces tried to force them to reveal their private passwords to their social media networks or email accounts…
The center emphasized that violations against Facebook users and bloggers confirm that the authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are monitoring social network users, and that this surveillance has increased over the past two years, following the success of the revolutions in several Arab countries, especially Tunisia and Egypt, where young people played a central role in coordinating and assembling the masses through social media networks.
Reham Abu Ita, MADA’s public relations chief, said that the violations being committed against journalists and citizens for having expressed their opinions are leading to an increase in self-censorship, which contradicts the raison d'être of platforms allowing citizens and journalists to express their opinions more easily.
She added: ‘In keeping with this principle, the MADA Center demands that all the relevant authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip halt their monitoring of the internet, refrain from harming the right of journalists and citizens to express their opinions in the social media networks and stop violating their privacy by forcing them to reveal their private passwords, and to respect freedom of expression and opinion, guaranteed by Section 10 of the Palestinian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.’”
17 freedom of press violations documented in August 2013 in West Bank and Gaza 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 6, 2013
     “The Gaza Center for Media Freedom documented 17 violations, which it described as dangerous, against journalists in the Palestinian territories, by the occupation authorities and Palestinian elements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip last August [2013]… 
As regards the West Bank, the monthly report noted that on August 1, the Security Forces in Ramallah arrested the journalist and photographer Mus'ab  Sa'id, as he was taking part in a march on the charge of ‘encouraging religious zealotry,’ for something he had written on his private Facebook page, which has been shut down since his arrest. On August 6, anonymous individuals threatened the journalist Nael Manasrah, who hosts the ‘Nael on the Air’ program, and on August 10, the journalist George Kanawati was verbally assaulted by the Bethlehem District Governor [Abd Al-Fattah Hamayel] and the security guards made him leave the Suleiman Pool Nights Festival in Bethlehem.”
 
PA condemns Fatah official for criticizing Abbas 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 30, 2013
      ‎“The [PA’s] security establishment ‎condemned the statements made by ‎‎[Fatah official] Sufian Abu Zaydeh, which ‎harmed the Palestinian people and its ‎leadership. It noted that Abu Zaydeh’s ‎statements dissolve the unity of our ‎people and the social fabric by casting ‎doubt on the leadership of the Palestinian ‎people, represented by Mahmoud Abbas. ‎In a statement submitted today, Saturday, ‎the [PA’s] security establishment ‎expressed dismay at the fact that that ‎someone pretending to be a Fatah fighter ‎and leader is serving agendas hostile to ‎the Palestinian people – given that our ‎enemies are staging a fierce attack on ‎President Mahmoud Abbas aimed at ‎weakening his resolve vis-à-vis the heavy ‎pressure [he is under] to resume ‎negotiations without a halt in settlement ‎construction.”‎
From WAFA, official PA news agency

Click to view the original article by Abu Zaydeh in which he criticized Abbas.
Rare internal criticism of Abbas 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, June 27, 2013
Op-ed by Fatah official Sufian Abu ‎Zaydeh
     ‎“I am revealing no secret nor adding ‎nothing new when I say that the ‎Palestinian people has reached a stage of ‎frustration and loss of confidence in its ‎leadership and its ability to find solutions ‎to the distress and disasters they are ‎facing and find a way out of them. The ‎frustration and loss of confidence do not ‎just concern the ability to end the ‎occupation, protect the holy places and ‎reduce the attacks of the settlers - these ‎are high aspirations no one expects to be ‎realized in the foreseeable future; [rather,] ‎the frustration essentially arises from the ‎shrinking of the Palestinian political ‎system and its reduction to the figure of ‎President [Mahmoud] Abbas.‎
Today, the President directs everything ‎related to the Palestinian people and the ‎Palestinian cause: he is the Chairman of ‎the PLO, the President of the State of ‎Palestine and the Chairman of the PA; he ‎is also the Chairman of Fatah and the ‎Supreme Commander of the [Security] ‎Forces. With the suspension of the PA ‎Parliament (Legislative Council), it is ‎President Abbas who issues legally ‎binding orders – meaning, he has ‎effectively replaced the PA Parliament. ‎With the complete paralysis of the PLO ‎institutions, he is the only decision-maker ‎there… The ‎President [Abbas] has complete power to ‎dismiss, appoint and promote. How can an ‎ambassador, a minister, a deputy minister ‎or a security officer oppose a decision or ‎say ‘no’ to the President, when he knows ‎that doing so will cost him his salary and ‎position?‎"

For more, click "full article."
Palestinian journalists complain of freedom of speech violations, including arrests, threats, and media shutdowns 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, May 28, 2013
Official PA TV program Media Café, on freedom of press in the West Bank, hosting PA Security Forces spokesman Adnan Al-Damiri and journalist Nihad Abu Ghosh .
Journalist Nihad Abu Ghosh: “Arrests are not the only violations. There are different kinds of violations, for example electronic: preventing the distribution of some of the newspapers.”
Official PA TV host: “And shutting down a few media institutions.”
Journalist Nihad Abu Ghosh: “Summons, delays, interrogations, threats. There are all sorts of violations taking place and in any case, they are not documented. Some people are even frightened of talking about what they experienced.”
[PA Security Forces spokesman Al-Damiri suggests that any journalist whose rights were violated file a complaint at the Security Forces’ headquarters]
Official PA TV host: “Security [Forces] personnel attacked journalists last June 31 and July 1 [2012] – the [Palestinian] Journalists’ Syndicate filed a complaint against them at the [PA] Ministry of Interior. What has been done about the matter?”
PA Security Forces spokesman Adnan Al-Damiri: “First of all, we are not obligated [to publish], and in fact are forbidden from publishing, disciplinary punishments not imposed by the court. Just as when a TV employee receives an internal [disciplinary] punishment – does the director [of the] TV [station] officially announce that so and so was punished?’”
Official PA TV host: “No, you are right.”
Official PA spokesman Adnan Al-Damiri: “But our brothers in the [Palestinian] Journalists’ Syndicate, thanks to the relationship and ties among us, can come and ask what happened, even though this is illegal.”

Click "full article" for more.
Abbas sends General Supervisor of Palestine Broadcasting Corporation to speak in his name to media employees 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 27, 2013
Headline: "In a speech delivered by Riyad Al-Hassan on [President Abbas’] behalf, the President praises the performance of radio and TV personnel."

“President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas yesterday, Saturday [Jan. 26, 2013], praised the performance of radio and television employees. This was done in a speech delivered on his behalf by Chairman of Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), Riyad Al-Hassan, during a tribute held by the PA in Gaza City…
The President [Abbas] said, ‘I have sent you your brother, the Chairman of the [Palestine Broadcasting] Corporation [Riyad Al-Hassan], as my representative to convey to you my warmest wishes and my great appreciation for the efforts you have made over a long period and that you [continue] to make in order to introduce to the world your nation's cause and your people's great struggle to reclaim its stolen rights, and to establish its independent state on its national land with its capital, Jerusalem.’
He added: ‘Our attention has been drawn to your admirable performance during major national events on our land, especially during the attack on Gaza (i.e., reference to Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense that in response to Hamas rockets, targeted the terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip), our great political victory at the UN (i.e., Palestine’s status as non-member state at the UN), and finally [the media] coverage of the rally in Gaza [celebrating] the Launch of the Palestinian revolution (i.e., reference to the anniversary of the Fatah Movement)…’
[Riyad] Al-Hassan, the General Supervisor of the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees [of the PBC], reviewed new milestones of PA TV."
University student detained by PA police for distributing fliers that “slander” Abbas 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 21, 2013
Headline: "The Preventive Security clarifies the arrest of a Liberation Party activist in Tulkarem"
     "The National Security Forces headquarters yesterday issued a clarifying statement concerning the arrest of a Liberation Party member in Tulkarem. It said: 'On Dec. 5, 2012, a Palestine Liberation Party flyer was distributed at Al-Khodori University in Tulkarem by the 'Awareness' faction (the student chapter of the Liberation Party). The flyer incites against President Mahmoud Abbas and slanders him personally.'
It went on to say, 'A party member distributed the flyer on campus in spite of university security forces attempts to stop him because the 'Awareness' faction is not part of the student council, and its activities violate university regulations.'
The statement noted that, 'On Dec. 6, 2012, he was issued a summons to appear at a meeting [with Security Forces], but he refused to answer the summons. He attacked and cursed the officer appointed to present him with the summons. His father and family members attacked and cursed [the officer] together with him.'
[The statement] added: 'On Jan. 13, 2013, he was arrested and brought to the Tulkarem jail for the required legal proceedings against him, but he cursed and attacked the workers there as he underwent a medical examination, and his belongings were confiscated.'"
PA daily: One of Fatah’s official websites launched new design  
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 3, 2013
     “Fatah’s Information and Culture Commission announced the launch of its internet site www.fatehmedia.ps with a new design and new content.
Fatah Revolutionary Council member and Commission CEO Muwaffaq Matar said that the site was launched on the night that our people celebrated the revolution’s beginning its 48th year [sic], and he added that the site expresses the policies and official positions of the [Fatah] movement as issued by its authorities and according to relevant regulations. Matar noted that the Facebook link to the new site is http://www.facebook.com/fatehmediaps.”

Note: Fatah has several official websites. Different Fatah commissions have their own official websites and link to official Fatah Facebook pages.
PA TV censors broadcast as citizens criticize PA leaders 
Source: Official Palestinian Authority TV, Sept. 6, 2012
PA TV host: "We return to you, sir. What did you want to say?"
Razi in studio audience: "President Abbas, may Allah protect him, and Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad: Where are you when prices keep rising? Where are you when there is unemployment? Where are your ministers, Dr. Salam? They should see the people in the streets. What are we, cows and donkeys? The Palestinian people has begun to speak..."
[Sound is muted for half a minute while Razi continued speaking and crowd was cheering.]
Razi: "This is despicable..."
Host: "The Jews have failed too."
Razi: "Whenever prices go up, you say: 'The Jews.'"
[Sound is muted]
Host: "Don't say such things."
Razi: "So arrest me..."
[Sound is muted]
Host: "I gave you a chance [to speak]. Let others speak." [...]
Man in audience: "I've been told on the phone that you keep cutting off the sound."
Host: "Who did I cut off now? ... I won't let you talk."
Man in audience: "Don't cut off the broadcast, you talk about the youth. We're the youth."
Host: "If you don't think that this is a live broadcast, don't be on the program. [...] e had wanted to continue the program, but it's clear we can't."
[Program abruptly ends.]
Click to view video
Click to view bulletin
Broadcasts on PA TV about Palestinian suicide attacks "increased honor for Palestinians" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 19, 2012
Headline: "At a Conference held by the Al-Sham Center for Studies and Researches in Gaza: Demand for Strategy to Intensify Media Role for the Palestinian Cause"
     “Politicians and media personalities emphasized the importance of formulating a clear national strategy to strengthen the role of the media in the Palestinian cause and resistance… This was during a conference on 'Palestinian Resistance Discourse in the Media and the Palestinian Cause' organized by the Al-Sham Center for Studies and Researches. Head of the House of Wisdom for Conflict Resolution & Governance, Dr. Ahmed Yousef… noted that following the [Fatah-Hamas] split, local channels began to drift away from their role… He stated that following the split, the official TV channels began to lose credibility, especially regarding the Arab revolutions. He noted that prior to the split, PA TV and the Al-Aqsa satellite channel had a prominent role, focusing on the struggle and the resistance, and that especially with the beginning of Martyrdom-seeking operations (i.e., suicide terror attacks) in 1994, Palestinian communities would follow and take pride in all that was broadcast. [Yousef said that] this had restored and increased honor for Palestinians, and that the Arab and Islamic nation had felt the same way, viewing Palestinians as blessed, since they are from the land of heroism."
PA daily: Protestors who clashed with police in Ramallah claim right to free expression was violated 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 2, 2012
     “Many young men and women as well as security officers suffered numerous injuries, and one person’s hand was broken, during scuffles that began again yesterday afternoon between youth activists who work in social networks, and police and security personnel who intervened to prevent protesters from reaching the Mukata building in Ramallah where the presidential offices are located.
The police released three journalists and activists after the national forces intervened, not long after they had been detained at the police station…
This came as part of a series of demonstrations protesting the visit of Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz that was to take place yesterday in the Mukata so that [Mofaz] could meet President Mahmoud Abbas, but the President decided to cancel on Friday...
Activists tried to reach the Mukata building… and the police interceded and moved them back to the square where shouting and arguments developed into confrontations. Reporters covering the march said that men in civilian dress asked them not to photograph, and took three of them into custody when they refused. All the same, they said that they were not attacked either physically or verbally...
Official spokesman of the security forces Adnan Al-Damiri stated in reaction to yesterday’s incidents that freedom of expression is guaranteed by law, and President Mahmoud Abbas stresses this at every opportunity. He noted that the young people’s march yesterday received all due consideration and its organizers were permitted to choose the place freely. Al-Damiri assumed that a few organizers’ insistence on reaching the President’s offices without having notified the police was the reason for the confrontations..."
PA daily: Palestinian Journalists Association condemns PA for arresting a journalist 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 2, 2012
     “The Palestinian Journalists Association yesterday condemned the arrest of Muhammad Jaradat who was attacked by [PA] security personnel in civilian clothing and taken for interrogation to the Ramallah police station, after covering a march of young people’s groups protesting the [Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul] Mofaz’s visit Saturday afternoon.
In its press release, a copy of which has reached WAFA (the official Palestinian Authority news agency), the Association said: ‘The attack on Jaradat and his arrest constitute a clear departure from the government’s and police force’s commitment to ensure journalistic practice….’
[Attorney] Raed Abd Al-Hamid said that marks of a beating were clearly visible on Jaradat’s face and body. He suffers from injuries to his face, a black eye, a wound to his nose, and wounds on his back, chest, knees, and legs.”
Abbas appoints Chairman of Board of Trustees of Palestine Broadcasting Corporation - Chairman reports to Abbas 
Source: WAFA news agency, June 19, 2012
Headline: “Presidential decree appoints Riyad Al-Hassan to Chairman of the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation Board of Trustees”
     “President Mahmoud Abbas issued today, Tuesday, a decree appointing the Chairman of the Palestinian Information and News Agency Wafa, Riyad Al-Hassan, to Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC). Within a month, Al-Hassan will recommend to the President the composition of this council.”

PA official says Abbas told newspapers not to publish congratulations on the formation of the new government 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 17, 2012
Headline: "President [Abbas] asks not to publish congratulatory [notices] to new government"
     "The government Secretary-General, Na'im Abu Al-Humus, said that President Mahmoud Abbas had instructed all local newspapers and asked them not to publish congratulatory [notices] upon the establishment of the 14th Palestinian government, after the ministers took their oath of allegiance before him last night."

Note: PMW can confirm that the official PA daily reported on the formation of the new PA government, but did not publish any congratulatory notices. This lends corroborates the fact that the media in the PA is government-controlled.
PA launches prisoners' satellite channel 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 2, 2012
Headline: "Under the auspices of the President [Abbas] and in the presence of Karake and Al-A'araj – announcement of the launch of 'The Prisoner' satellite channel in Jenin"
     "Head of the Office of the President, Hussein Al-A'araj, inaugurated 'The Prisoner' satellite channel yesterday in Jenin, on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas and under his auspices. Al-A'araj conveyed President Mahmoud Abbas' congratulations upon the inauguration of this satellite channel, since it has adorned itself with the colors of the Palestinian flag…
He said: 'Two days ago we commemorated Land Day, for the sake of which the heroes were taken into captivity (i.e., imprisoned in Israel), and prior to that the Martyrs (Shahids) sacrificed that which was dear to them for the sake of their only and unified land, Palestine, whose sole capital is Jerusalem.' He conveyed greetings to the prisoners… [saying], 'The leadership, headed by the President, emphasizes that we will not abandon them until they return as free people, because our nation suffers from their tragedy, and their suffering pains all of us. This is a tax that we all have to pay.' … He emphasized that no peace agreement would be signed without all the prisoners returning to their homes… Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, Issa Karake, congratulated the prisoners on the launch of this satellite station, which will broadcast our prisoners to all the satellite stations in the world, conveying their resolve and their acts of heroism to all nations."
New “Palestine Live” channel to be established 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 25, 2012
Headline: "Abd Rabbo: Preparations begin for establishment of 'Palestine Live' channel and implementation of radio and TV reforms"
     "General Supervisor of the official media, Yasser Abd Rabbo, held a meeting yesterday in Ramallah with the General Director of radio [Ahmad Zaki] and General Director of TV [Ahmad Al-Hazouri]… It was decided that preparations for the establishment of the 'Palestine Live' channel should begin immediately."
Official statement re. one of Fatah’s official websites and Facebook pages 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 11, 2011
Headline: "Fatah: Website of the Information and Culture Commission is the [Fatah] movement's official information website"
     "The Information and Culture Commission of the Fatah movement has announced that the ’Information of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement – Fatah’ page on Facebook is not related to the movement's official information. In a press release published yesterday (Monday) the Commission emphasized that the official website, which has been approved by the movement's supreme leadership bodies, and which officially conveys the movement's information and culture, is the website of the Information and Culture Commission –www.fatehmedia.ps. [The Commission] added that the [Commission's] Facebook page is entitled 'The Information and Culture Commission of the Fatah Movement.'"

Note: Fatah has several official websites. Different Fatah commissions have their own official websites and link to official Fatah Facebook pages.
Abbas defends show cancellation in interview about PA media censorship 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 29, 2011
Headline: “In interview with Qatari 'Al-Watan' newspaper – President [Abbas]: Hamas has no objections concerning the 'September target date'"
Host: "You spoke about freedom of opinion and said that you support this, so why did you discontinue the program 'Watan Ala-Watar' [Homeland on a string], which was broadcast on PA TV?"
Abbas: "This program has been broadcast for the past three years, and the first episode of the program criticized me. At the time I was glad, because this reflected an atmosphere of freedom. The program soon came out against all the senior [PA] personnel, but those responsible for the program are inexperienced and don't have anyone to write [scripts] for them. Since this is a comedy show, what is needed is a professional writer to write criticism without slandering people.
More than once I brought to the attention of Yasser Abd Rabbo, who is in charge of TV, that sometimes the program sinks to a very low standard and that it would be better to avoid this low level.
In one episode they came out against the head of the Anti-Corruption Authority, Rafiq Al-Natsheh, saying that he appointed relatives to various positions. These are untrue statements which were used as a joke, but they remain unacceptable."
PA TV Ramadan program that criticizes PA officials forcibly taken off the air 
Source: Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Aug. 17, 2011
Headline: "PA takes satirical TV series off air"
     "A Ramadan TV series that became notorious for its criticism of Palestinian Authority officials has been discontinued on the PA-run Palestine TV, Attorney General Ahmad Al-Mughni said Tuesday evening. Al-Mughni told Ma'an that the decision had been made to stop broadcasts of Watan Ala Watar [Homeland on a Thread] after Tuesday's episode because 'it is full of mistakes, is meaningless and is a waste of time for people to watch.' The serial, aired during the holy month of Ramadan when broadcasters compete for captive audiences with soap operas and special series, had been praised the year earlier as an emblem of PA's ability to tolerate self-criticism.
Al-Mughni said Tuesday that the series is 'harmful to Palestinian society.' 'It mocks leaders terribly, and has a poor scenario,' he said, adding that episodes had crossed 'red lines.' 'There are people and personalities that can't be imitated in any way,' the Attorney General said.
The series had targeted the beleaguered Palestinian Authority health ministry, public sector workers union head Bassam Zakarneh and teachers union in recent weeks, and officials are reported to have complained to the Attorney General about the send-up.
Palestine TV is operated by the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, and supervised by the Ramallah-based Ministry of Information.
Watan Ala Watar gained a huge following for its uncompromising look at themes of politics, corruption, nepotism, religion and morality."
Internal disaggreement in PA over freedom of speech 
Source: Jerusalem Post, Aug. 17, 2011
Headline: "Lawsuits, complaints lead PA to cut satirical TV series: Palestinian prosecutor-general tells Ma'an Watan ala Watar (Nation on a String) crosses 'red lines'; producer cries violation of democracy."
     "The Palestinian prosecutor-general announced Tuesday night that the satirical television series Watan ala Watar (Homeland on a String) will no longer air on the Palestinian Authority-run Palestine TV channel.
Prosecutor-General Ahmad Al-Mughni told Palestinian news channel Ma'an that the decision was made because the show, broadcast during Ramadan, 'is full of mistakes' and 'meaningless,' adding that it had crossed 'red lines' in its impersonations of Palestinian leaders. 'There are people and personalities that can't be imitated in any way,' Ma'an quoted Mughni as saying.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) board and a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization, described the decision as a 'dangerous precedent in the history of the Palestinian Authority.'
'The prosecutor-general has appointed himself as the one responsible for artistic works, becoming 'the artistic authority' in the country,' he told Al-Ayyam newspaper.
'We are facing a great disaster which violates the most basic of freedoms.'
He said an appeal would be lodged against the decision."
PA TV still the "official government TV [station]" 
Source: Al-Ayyam, Aug. 5, 2011
Article about a strike by about 20 friends of the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish at the PA TV building. The strikers protested the broadcast of the Syrian series "In the Presence of Absence" about the poet's life.
     “Following the sit-down strike, a meeting was held between some of the strikers and the PA TV administration, during which the Executive Director of the Radio and TV Authority, Ahmad Al-Hazouri, said: 'These protests are welcome, and they support our efforts – [we,] the PA TV administration] to transform ourselves from an official government TV [station] to a public national TV [station]."

Click "full article" for more information
Union head: Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation censors the media 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 26, 2011
Headline: "Zakarneh: "Preventing me from speaking on official TV and radio will not stop my message about unions"
     "Head of the Union of Public Service Employees, Bassam Zakarneh, said that preventing him from speaking, and preventing coverage of union activities on [official PA] TV and on 'Voice of Palestine' [official PA radio] will not prevent him from carrying out his union mission and defending the rights of the oppressed public [sector] employees.
In a press release, Zakarneh said: 'The general supervisor of the PBC (Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation) prevented coverage of news related to the unions; this may be defined as suppression of freedoms and as a blow to the freedom of union activity, by a prominent leader of the PLO. This is dangerous and a contravention of the Basic Law, the Declaration of Independence, and agreements on the international and Arab level to which the [Palestinian] Liberation Organization is a signatory.'
Zakarneh added: 'The general supervisor is intimidating TV and 'Voice of Palestine' employees, especially concerning holding any kind of discourse with someone who has been blacklisted by the national leadership. He doesn't permit any interviewing of them, and many [media] employees who have transgressed these instructions have been interrogated and removed from their positions.'…
Zakarneh warned Palestinian citizens against accepting reports about the unions from Palestinian radio and TV, since these represent the views of one party [only]. Zakarneh demanded of President Abbas to intervene in order to halt the suppression of freedoms of the press, which are protected by Palestinian law."
Fatah council member decries suppression of freedom of speech on PA media, warns public that PA TV and radio only "represent the opinion of one side" 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 26, 2011
Headline: “Zakarneh: My being prevented from speaking on the official [PA] TV and radio will not stop my message on the matter of the unions”

“[Fatah Revolutionary Council member and] Chairman of the Union of Public Sector Employees Bassam Zakarneh said that his being prevented from speaking, and the prevention of coverage of the union activities on [official PA] TV and on [the official PA radio station] The Voice of Palestine, will not prevent him from fulfilling his union mission and defending the rights of the oppressed public employees...
Zakarneh said: ‘The General Supervisor of the Broadcasting and Television Authority prevented the news coverage related to the unions, which can be classified as a suppression of freedoms and as a blow to the union freedom of action by a top-ranking leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). This is dangerous and opposes the basic law, the [Palestinian] declaration of independence, and agreements on the international and Arab level signed by the [Palestinian] Liberation Organization. Zakarneh added: ‘The General Supervisor is frightening the employees on TV and on The Voice of Palestine, and particularly on everything regarding holding any sort of conversation with someone who has been placed on the black list of the national leadership. He does not allow holding any interview with them, and many employees who transgressed these instructions were interrogated and distanced from their work…
Zakarneh warned the Palestinian citizen against receiving information about the unions from the radio and television of Palestine (i.e., the PA), because they represent the opinion of one side. Zakarneh demanded that [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas intervene in order to stop the suppression of press freedoms, which are defended by Palestinian law.”

Click "full article" for more.
Survey: Over half of Palestinian media say PA and Hamas restrict their work 
Source: WAFA news agency, May 21, 2011
     "More than half of the Palestinian media organizations (53%) said they have suffered restrictions at some time in the past such as closure, threats and attacks on staff or property, according to a new survey on the media published Saturday.
The survey, conducted by Near East Consulting (NEC), said a majority of 75% of the media organizations see the Israeli occupation as the main restriction they currently face, but a significant number also cited the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and Hamas in Gaza as restricting their work.
NEC said there were 192 functioning media organizations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and out of 184 media organizations that responded to the survey, 27 were TV stations and 66 were radio. It said 145 were in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and 39 in the Gaza Strip."

Note: The poll is not yet featured on the website of the polling institute.
WAFA news agency under Abbas' control by presidential order 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 10, 2011
Headline: “President [Abbas] issues order regulating activity of WAFA agency”
     “Last night, President Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential order regulating the activity of the WAFA Palestine News and Information Agency. The order emphasizes that the Palestine News and Information Agency is subordinate exclusively to the Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee.”
PA controls media, ceases to broadcast incitement against Hamas 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 8, 2011
This article illustrates that the PA controls the media. It made a decision after the reconciliation to stop inciting against Hamas.
Headline: “After ceasing to broadcast incitement and to disseminate media poison - Palestinian circles once again showing faith and interest in news stations
     “The news stations once again have the faith and interest of the Palestinian public, now that they have ceased to broadcast incitement [of Fatah and Hamas against each other]and to disseminate media poison, which intensified anxiety and confusion owing to the use of inappropriate terms not suited to the nature and values of the media.
Since the signing of the reconciliation agreement [between Fatah and Hamas], there has been unusual interest in the various types of news stations, both radio and TV, as well as in local newspapers, because now everyone is using and sticking to professional and national terminology, far removed from slander and mud-slinging.”
PA daily: PA accused of impinging on journalistic freedom 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Apr. 7, 2011
Following a report in 2011 by the US-based Human Rights Watch, the PA security forces responded to accusations that they abused journalists :
     “Official spokesman of the security forces, Adnan Al-Damiri, emphasized: ‘The security establishment is ready to investigate any personal violation and to adopt all legal measures against those who are committing violations, if there are any.’
Damiri’s words came in response to the report published yesterday by Human Rights Watch, accusing the Palestinian security services of violations against journalists… The security forces spokesman denied that arrests are made on the basis of politics or profession, and said that the instances in which arrests [of journalists] are made arise from harm to security or crimes… He rejected the comparison between the functioning of the security establishment in the West Bank, which has undergone great development, and what Hamas is doing in Gaza.”

Note: To view the full Human Rights Watch report detailing the accusations against the PA and Hamas concerning journalistic freedom and harm to journalists, click here.
Banned TV program elicits angry response about PA TV censorship 
Source: Al-Hayat (London), Mar. 5, 2011
     “Viewers of the Palestinian [TV] comedy Homeland on a String waited for last Thursday’s episode… but the episode was not broadcast…. [The series’ creator] and star [Imad] Farajin publicized on his Facebook page… “Palestinian TV prohibited the episode on [Libya's] Gaddafi” … Responses to this statement [on Facebook]  came one after another. Some spoke of the policy of suppression adopted by PA TV, about the range of freedoms which is being diminished instead of broadened, and some demanded of [Imad Farajin, creator and star of the program] to seek alternative satellite channels and to broadcast the episode on Facebook and YouTube. Some of the angry responses on the [program’s Facebook] page even read, ‘The people want to bring down PA TV and the PA TV administration.’
In an interview with Al-Hayat (i.e., the London-based Arabic language paper)… Farajin expressed fury over the ban on broadcasting the episode, especially since it had been filmed after the script had been shown to the PA TV administration and approved by the chairman of the Board of Directors of the PBC, Yasser Abd Rabbo....
Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation to become a public institution by Presidential order 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 17, 2011
     “Secretary of the PLO Executive Council and general supervisor of official media, Yasser Abd Rabbo… spoke during a symposium… in Ramallah entitled, “Towards Free and Modern Media”...
Abd Rabbo stated clearly that the trend is for there eventually to be no official Palestinian media, and that the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation will be transformed, through a Presidential order, into a public and independent national institution, similar to the situation in many advanced countries.
Abd Rabbo noted that within the institution [PBC] a battle is going on concerning implementation of the order, which has made the task more difficult… Abd Rabbo emphasized that he will not hesitate to continue this battle with full strength, despite all the difficulties and obstacles, even if he is uncertain of success in this regard.”

Note: There has been no official announcement by the PA nor any other evidence that the decision to turn the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation into a public institution has yet been carried out (June 2011).
Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation to become independent public institution, not government run 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 15, 2010
Yasser Abd Rabbo is the Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee and General Supervisor of the official media.
As of March 2011, the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation has still not become an independent public institution.

Headline:
“Abd Rabbo: Presidential directive to transform the [Palestinian] Broadcasting Corporation into an independent public institution”
     “Yasser Abd Rabbo, General Supervisor of the official media, has revealed that President Mahmoud Abbas, in his role as chairman of the PLO, recently issued a presidential directive resolving to convert the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation from a governmental institution into an independent public institution, in terms of administration and financing…
Abd Rabbo said: ‘We have started to proceed in the right direction… in order to arrive at TV and radio broadcasting that will express the will of our Palestinian society in all its shades and contradictions, and [such] that the TV will not be the mouthpiece of the government, with an attempt to dictate to society and to direct it as the government sees fit…’."
May 2010 poll: PATV third most watched channel 
Source: Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (www.pcpo.org), May 5, 2010
"TV stations:
(29.8 %) of the Palestinians believe that Al-Jazeera is the most watched TV channel, followed by Al-Arabiyyeh (19.5 %), Palestine TV (15.5 %) in the third position, MBC (13.4 %) in the fourth position, followed by Al-Aqsa TV (10.9 %), LBC (5.9 %), and others (5.0 %)."
 
Note: "This poll by Dr. Nabil Kukali, Director of the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion (PCPO) was conducted March 15 – 28, 2010, [from] a random sample of (1153) respondents from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
PA TV and Radio subordinate to Abbas, supervised by Abbas’ advisor 
Source: WAFA news agency, Feb. 21, 2008
Headline: “The President [Abbas] has charged [his] advisor Nimr Hammad with the supervision of the media institutions subordinate to the Presidency”
     “President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree that charges [his] advisor Nimr Hammad with the supervision of the media institutions subordinate to the Presidency which are: the State Information Service, the Palestinian news agency ‘Wafa’, and the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation (PBC).”
Palestinian TV and satellite channels were #1 during Intifada (2000-2005) 
Source: Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 15, 2001
     “Dean of the Faculty of Media in Al-Aqsa University Hussein Abu Shanab…
In the study, he revealed the extent to which the media were followed during the Intifada’s events (the PA terror campaign 2000-2005). Television and satellite channels were in the first place. Palestinian TV and Palestinian satellite channels were in the first place [among TV and satellite channels] with 76.6%, Al-Jazeera in the second place with 52.3%, while Abu-Dhabi, Egypt and the MBC satellite channel were in the third place.
The study revealed that the general picture of the Intifada’s events and the pictures of children and demonstrations on TV drew the attention of the Palestinian mother. This contributed to increasing political awareness and strengthened [the sense of] national belonging.
The [study] found that inclination towards Martyrdom (Shahada) was influenced by the Palestinian family’s situation. [The Palestinian family] brings up the topic of the Intifada daily in conversation and in discussion among family members; this acts as a catalyst for children and youth to take part in its events."

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