Photo: AFP
Palestinians reading Hamas-affiliated paper Falastin
Photo: AFP
Palestinian news group stops printing Hamas papers
West Bank-based Al-Ayyam will no longer print Falastin, Al-Resala and Al-Istiqlal after IDF threatens to close its offices.

RAMALLAH - A Palestinian newspaper group said Thursday that it had stopped printing titles run by Islamist group Hamas after receiving a series of warnings from the IDF.



The Al-Ayyam newspaper group, which is based in the West Bank, has stopped printing and distributing Hamas newspapers Falastin, Al-Resala and Al-Istiqlal, its managing editor Abdel Nasser al-Najjar told AFP.


The decision followed a phone call late Wednesday from the IDF, threatening to close Al-Ayyam's offices if it did not stop publishing the papers, he said.


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The army had no immediate comment.


Israeli soldiers raided Al-Ayyam's offices last month and issued similar threats.


Al-Ayyam has been printing the three papers since April, when a surprise reconciliation deal between the Hamas rulers of Gaza and its Fatah rivals brought the Islamist group's publications back to West Bank newsstands.


Police raids Palestine TV


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In April, Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization - which Fatah dominates - unveiled a reconciliation deal under which they formed a merged administration for the West Bank and Gaza last week for the first time in seven years.


That was seized upon by Israel, which said it would not negotiate with any Palestinian government backed by Hamas, putting the final nail in the coffin of the latest round of US-brokered peace talks.


In a separate crackdown on Palestinian media, Israeli police raided the Jerusalem studios of Palestine TV on Friday and briefly detained three staff for questioning.


Israel Radio said police suspected Palestine TV of broadcasting "incitements to violence."


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