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Al-Arabiya says Hamas raid over filming of pro-PLO Gaza protest

BBC Monitoring

Dubai Al-Arabiya Television carries at 0908 gmt on 13 August the following announcer-read report:

"Al-Arabiya's correspondent in Gaza has reported that members of the Hamas-affiliated Executive Force stormed Al-Arabiya's offices and confiscated filming equipment. The correspondent said that the Executive Force confiscated a camera on the grounds that the Al-Arabiya crew had filmed a demonstration by PLO factions that were demanding freedoms in the Gaza Strip. The Executive Force had banned all demonstrations and gatherings in the Gaza Strip that are not first approved by the force, according to its spokesman Sabir Khalifah."

Five minutes later, the channel interviewed its correspondent in Gaza Islam Abd-al-Karim, who explains that while covering a demonstration by PLO factions in Gaza, it was announced that journalists would not be allowed to cover the demonstration and that a camera was confiscated from a local news agency photographer. He says armed E! xecutive Force members later stormed Al-Arabiya's offices, accused the channel's crew of filming the demonstration through the office's windows, and demanded that the camera and tape used be handed over. He adds that Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum "promised this matter would be resolved," but says that no action has yet be taken and that no explanation has been provided.

Source: Al-Arabiya TV, Dubai, in Arabic 0908 gmt 13 Aug 07



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