Hebron officials urge PA ban on Israeli media

HEBRON (Ma’an) — The Hebron governorate executive council recommended Wednesday a ban on Israeli journalists reporting in Palestinian territory without a permit from the Ministry of Information.

The council, headed by the governor of Hebron, suggested the ban on non-licensed Israeli media as a matter of reciprocity because Israel bans Palestinian media from working without a permit.

The issue of reciprocity is widely debated among Palestinian journalists who have been severely restricted from reporting inside Israel. In 2002, Israel stopped issuing press credentials to most Palestinian media.

There was no indication Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority at large was considering such a ban. A spokeswoman said she was unaware of plans to introduce restrictions on Israeli media.

In early March, Palestinian tour guides protested outside the Church of the Nativity demanding an end to permits allowing Israeli guides into PA-controlled areas without reciprocal permits for Palestinians.

According to Palestinian Authority statistics, 250 Israeli tour guides hold permits to enter Bethlehem. By comparison, only 43 Palestinian tour guides are allowed into Jerusalem, which is controlled by Israel.

(Source / 20.03.2013)

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