IDF Prevents Publication of Hamas Papers in West Bank, Palestinians Report

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Head of the Hamas government Ismail Haniyeh and senior Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmed sign a reconciliation agreement in Gaza City April 23, 2014.Credit: Reuters

Israel Defense Forces troops raided the offices of a Palestinian newspaper in Ramallah on Wednesday and ordered its management to stop printing three Hamas publications, according to Ma’an news service.

"Officers informed us that Israel would not allow the printing and distribution of Falastin, Al-Resala, and Al-Istiqlal," Al-Ayyam's management said in a statement.

Al-Ayyam has been printing the three papers since April, when Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal and agreed to establish a unity government. It was the first time in almost eight years that Hamas publications were available on West Bank newsstands.

The soldiers threatened to take "concrete steps" towards stopping Falastin, Al-Resala and Al-Istiqlal being printed at Al-Ayyam's offices in Ramallah, the statement said.

Al-Quds, a West Bank daily, went on sale in Gaza earlier this month, the first time it had been available there since Hamas drove Fatah out of the territory in a week of bloody fighting in 2007.

The two Palestinian factions are expected to announce the make-up of a new government by the end of the week.

There was no immediate comment from the IDF.

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