The Palestinian Authority (PA) has banned a Gaza-based Hamas network from broadcasting within its borders Monday, it announced on its official Facebook page – apparently to stop incitement.
While Israel has cracked down on incitement against Israelis and Jews from within the PA, the PA itself has apparently begun monitoring – and filtering – broadcasts as well.
Since last week, many staff members of the Al-Aqsa Hamas channel's PA branch have been arrested on "various pretexts," sources told Walla! News, and were also threatened anonymously over the phone and on Facebook.
The station's broadcasting partners were also threatened and stopped working with the channel, the sources said; when Al-Aqsa approached other networks for help, they were told they were banned from being in contact with the Hamas channel.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri condemned the move, saying the PA was trying to suppress news about "the crimes of the Occupation," and turned to the PA's de facto "president," Rami Hamdallah, to stop the censorship.
Hamas has continued to incite to terrorism against Israelis using both its educational institutions and official media outlets. However, the PA has been an active player in incitement as well – with official PA media lauding terror attacks on a regular basis.