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Palestine Papers fallout: Television studio used by Al-Jazeera sacked in Nablus

The fallout: A press cameraman films damages at a studio at the Palestinian media centre in the West Bank city of Nablus after unknown men attacked its offices while a journalist was sending a live report to the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera satellite channel, on January 26, 2011

A television studio in the Palestinian Territories used by the satellite television station Al-Jazeera was attacked Wednesday, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has reported. Al-Jazeera recently broadcast confidential documents on the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians between 1999 and 2010.

The studio, in Nablus in the north of the West Bank, belongs to the Palestinian television agency Pal Media and is used by Al-Jazeera.

Young Palestinians invaded the studio shortly after the transmission live on Al-Jazeera of an interview conducted in it with Abdel Sattar Qassem, politics professor at the University of Najah, who is known for his critical view of the Palestinian Authority. Technical equipment belonging to the station was wrecked and an attempt to set the studio on fire was under way when police intervened.

Backers of President Mahmoud Abbas had tried to break into the station’s headquarters in Ramallah a few days earlier.

Al-Jazeera, based in Qatar has come under substantial criticism following publication of the documents which disclose major concessions by the authority in several areas, such as the status of Jerusalem and the right of return of Palestinian refugees.

The Palestinian negotiators reacted by regretting that the disclosures by Al-Jazeera did not reflect the reality. In a similar situation the authority closed the offices of Al-Jazeera in June 2010 for “spreading false information” before reopening them a month later.

RSF called on the Palestinian authorities in the West Bank to do everything to protect journalists and their equipment. It issued a reminder that medias have a duty of impartiality, especially important in the present political situation when political tensions are being heightened.

Date posted: January 27, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 176