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Palestinian press groups blast ban on websites linked to Abbas rivals

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Palestinians were surprised to find on June 12 that they could no longer access 12 websites. The owners of the sites were quoted by multiple sources as saying that the blocks began around 5 p.m., and that when they checked with their web hosts to see what had happened, they were told that the decision to deny access had come from the attorney general’s office.

The targeted websites are affiliated with the Islamist movement Hamas and renegade former Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan. Palestine Today, Shehab News Agency, Voice of Fatah, Palestinian Information Center and Amad are some of the more well-known sites now inaccessible.

The office of Attorney General Ahmad Bara offered no public comment or explanation other than to confirm that it had indeed issued the order. A source close to the Palestinian government was quoted by the independent Maan News Agency on June 16 as claiming that the decision was not political.

An article on Maan's website reported, “A senior official from the Palestinian Authority spoke to Maan on Thursday [June 15], denying the........

© Al Monitor