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Filistin:

Mideast Wire

On March 11, the Hamas-backed newspaper Filistin reported: "The ministry of information has denounced the campaign that a number of Palestinian sides have been waging against the Al-Jazeera Satellite Television Channel, deeming this as an old and not new onslaught that does not represent the Palestinian national and official position but represents the position of some individuals and groups that are connected with the US Administration and Hebrew state. At the same time, the ministry lauded the position of the Al-Jazeera Channel in exposing Israeli violations under the silence of the official Arab media and Palestinian media in Ramallah.

"Dr Hasan Abu-Hashish, deputy undersecretary of the ministry of information, says: "We view the Al-Jazeera Satellite Television Channel in a very professional way and with complete satisfaction, and we appreciate and value what Al-Jazeera has done in setting in motion the stagnant waters in the media process at the Arab media level and the region in general.

"We also highly appreciate the Al-Jazeera Channel's enormous efforts in exposing the Israeli aggression, supporting the Palestinian right and explaining to the world in general this people's torments. Subsequently, this is the general national position of the Palestinian people and their national and official institutions. Any position that contradicts this position is an individual, personal and party position that is not objective, and does not represent all the Palestinians and the higher national or political vision in Palestine."

"In a statement to Filastin, Abu-Hashish affirmed that Al-Jazeera Channel is like the free media in the Arab World that is subjected to blackmail and harassment by the settlement and normalization trend in the region at the instruction of the US Administration and Hebrew state. He said that Tel Aviv did not conceal this when it attacked Al-Jazeera and accused it of instigating violence because it was conveying the Palestinian people's suffering as a result of the aggression and blockade.

"He said: "We in the information ministry in the Palestinian [National] Authority hold a view on any campaign, whether by some Palestinian mouthpieces, the Authority's television in Ramallah known as the Palestine Television, some Fatah deputies, the US Administration or some Arab regimes. We view this onslaught as being part of the campaign to disrupt Al-Jazeera's media, national and responsible role as it exposes the Israeli aggression in a manner that conveys the real picture to the world."

"He added: "We believe that this is a kind of blackmail by the Fatah Movement and before that by the Fatah media and the occupation. The aim is to bring pressure to bear on the Al-Jazeera Channel and subsequently make it embrace the Fatah Movement's story and stay away from the story of the resistance and opposition in the Arab World. This contradicts the simplest rights and simplest rules of respectable professional work and respectable relations between countries and institutions.

"Abu-Hashish also said that he regarded the onslaught against the Al-Jazeera Channel as being an old and not a new thing or has anything to do with any programme. He affirmed that several Al-Jazeera correspondents have been arrested, martyred, injured or subjected to various kinds of practices in several countries. He also said that he expected this onslaught against Al-Jazeera to continue if it continues with its neutrality and professionalism.

"The deputy undersecretary of the Palestinian information ministry said: "We believe that the pitfall of Dr Faysal al-Qasim in the "Opposite Direction" programme was unprecedented, but this matter was quickly handled by Al-Jazeera Channel and it apologized to the Arab and Islamic World for that. However, the onslaught against Al-Jazeera started before this case and is aimed at stirring up old grudges and exploiting the loopholes in which the Al-Jazeera Channel might fall.

"This is in order to attack and undermine it and influence its message to make it biased in favour of the story that satisfies the US Administration, Hebrew state and some trends that agree with the US position in the region." - Filistin, Palestine

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