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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hamas holds AP journalist at gunpoint, beats AFP photographer

[Photo credit: Mohammed Othman/Flash90]
The darlings of the UN and the left, Hamas, has blocked journalists from filming a major protest against power cuts in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday. They detained and held an Associated Press journalist at gunpoint and brutally beat up an Agence France-Presse photographer who refused to hand over his camera.

The AP journalist was trying to cover a demonstration against frequent electricity shortages in Gaza, described by that press outlet as "one of the largest unauthorized protests in the territory since the Islamic militant group took power a decade ago."

The AP reported that: "Hamas forces blocked journalists from filming the gathering, and an Associated Press journalist was briefly detained at gunpoint until he handed over his mobile phones to plainclothes security men."

The Foreign Press Association said the Hamassholes "stuck a pistol in his chest and verbally threatened the reporter until he agreed to give them the phones." In the same statement, they said "an AFP photographer was badly beaten to the head by uniformed policemen [and] required medical care after he had refused to give up his camera. The memory card of his camera was confiscated and he was placed under arrest. He was subsequently released and the memory card was returned."

One day prior to the protest, Hamassholes arrested a local comedian who wasn't being funny when he made a video that went viral about the power outages.

In spite of all the love Hamas gets from the UN and our leftists here, they often are criticized for limiting press freedoms such as warning journalists against sharing negative incriminating details in their reports from Gaza and forcing them to delete such details if included in their coverage.

But at least they aren't Israel, John Kerry says to himself when shampooing his hair.

Palestinian affairs journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, in a 2009 report for the Gatestone Institute wrote:
Foreign journalists who manage to cross into the Gaza Strip face many restrictions imposed by the Hamas government. Local facilitators hired by foreign journalists are also under scrutiny by the Hamas government. That is why they are careful not to bring the dirty laundry out by telling the foreign media about things that could reflect negatively on Hamas.
During Operation Protective Edge, the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, it was clear how the latter restricted the reporting. Foreign reporters admitted after they left the Middle East that they had waited to report news that put Hamas in a bad light, such as their use of human shields, and their decision to fire rockets next door to their hotel. The reporters were afraid of Hamas' retaliation, so they waited until they were safely home or at least out of the area. 

In fact, a Hamas spokeswoman admitted in August of 2014 that Hamas had intimidated journalists into providing more favorable coverage of them.

Mark Lavie, a former AP journalist wrote that the intimidation of reporters was the main reason news from Gaza is skewed.

Human Rights Watch, a nonprofit organization, condemned the treatment of journalists by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, saying that their tactics led to a "chilling effect" on freedom of expression in the Palestinian territories.

"Both Palestinian governments, operating independently, have apparently arrived at similar methods of harassing, intimidating and physical abuse of anyone who dares criticize them," said Sari Bashi, the HRW's Israel-Palestine director.

Freedom House's press freedom score  of 84 (with 100 being the worst) was given to the Palestinian territories in 2015. And a survey in 2014 found "80% of Palestinian journalists in the West Bank and Gaza practice self-censorship of their writing." The same year, a poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found 70% of Palestinians didn't believe they could criticize the PA.

But these are simply facts and not feelings so what and who are you going to believe?