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Gaza security forces arrest reporter for Palestinian Authority-owned news outlet

June 10, 2017 7:19 P.M. (Updated: June 12, 2017 6:08 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian journalist was arrested by the internal security services of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Friday, members of his family told Ma’an.

According to his family, Fouad Jaradeh, a reporter for the Palestinian Authority’s official television channel Palestine TV, was arrested Friday afternoon and was still being detained as of midday Saturday.

Forces who identified themselves as members of internal security services had raided the Jaradeh family house, arrested Fouad, and confiscated his personal computer and mobile phone.

The arrest came a week after a group of Palestinian activists in the Gaza Strip rallied to demand the release of Abdullah Abu Sharikh, a 54-year-old Palestinian writer who was detained by security forces, allegedly for remarks he made in Facebook posts, according to his family.

Meanwhile, Palestine TV journalist Taghrid Abu Tir spent 10 days in Hamas custody in April.

Hamas has stifled dissident voices in the blockaded Palestinian territory since the faction won legislative elections in 2006 and became the ruling party in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (Mada), documented a total of 48 violations by authorities in the Gaza Strip against media freedoms in its annual report, which highlighted incidents of security forces inflicting “certain types of torture” against Palestinian journalists during their detentions.

A continuation of Palestinian authorities -- both in Gaza and the West Bank, which is governed by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority -- “prosecuting journalists in relation to their publications on social media sites,” was also reported.

Political divisions between Fatah and Hamas since conflict broke out between the groups in 2007 were cited as the major reason behind media violations.

Mada’s monthly report for May 2017 documented 18 Palestinian violations against media freedoms -- up from eight the previous month -- though all of May’s violations occurred in the occupied West Bank.

Rights groups have continued to criticize the PA and Hamas, the de facto governing party of the Gaza Strip, of suppressing both freedom of press and freedom of speech.

Both governments have been the focus of condemnation for targeting Palestinian journalists who openly criticize the government.
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