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Gaza newspaper ban in effect for now, official says

Jan. 14, 2012 10:44 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 15, 2012 2:26 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The director of the governmental press office in Gaza has affirmed his commitment to one day implementing a decision to lift politically motivated bans on newspapers in the coastal enclave.

Hassan Abu Hashish says a letter to a joint factional committee seeks information on whether or not Fatah is also ready to drop its ban on Hamas publications in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

“We haven’t received any information to let us know about the readiness of the PA in the West Bank about this matter," he said in a statement.

"We are still waiting for its application along with (those of) other factions."

The response to Ma'an seemed to indicate that dropping a ban on Fatah-affiliated media was conditioned on measures by the PA, which too has a track record of stifling media perceived as sympathetic to Hamas.

The official called on the press to "not deal with any news about this matter." The government press office in Gaza, according to Abu Hashish, is the only body tasked with following up on the issue.

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