Gaza authorities shut down Al Arabiya office

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An office belonging to Al Arabiya television network was shut down by authorities in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Thursday for allegedly reporting “false” information regarding the Hamas leadership.

Hamas authorities said they are going to temporarily close the office and refrain all employees from entering the building, which is located in the al-Ramal neighborhood in the center of Gaza, Al Arabiya’s correspondent said.

The correspondent said that the employees were notified by the authorities they would be arrested if they enter the office, adding that there is a number of other media offices that were also shut down.

“The Attorney General decided to close down Al-Arabiya... in Gaza for distributing false news regarding the smear campaign against Hamas and Gaza about what's happening in Egypt,” a Hamas official told AFP.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate has condemned shutting down Al Arabiya’s office and the independent Ma’an News Agency

The syndicate described the move as an “attack” against media outlets who are working to “unveil the truth.”

It also said that it should be the main authority to decide if media outlets have violated any “professional” conduct. Any “complaints” should be forwarded to the syndicate, it added.

Ma’an’s editor-in-chief Nasser Lahham said the news agency will forward a complain about threats to its staff to the Union of Arab Journalists and to the International Federation of Journalists.