International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today welcomed the decision of
the Palestinian Authority to revoke its order of 15 July to close Al-Jazeera's
office in the West Bank, blaming the television network for "bias and
incitement" in its broadcasts.
is a step in the right direction and we welcome it," said Aidan White, IFJ
General Secretary. "But, the Authority must drop the lawsuit, as well, as a
mark of their commitment to press freedom."
to reports from the West Bank, the Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salam Fayyad,
on 18 July issued a decision "to halt the suspension of work of the Aljazeera's
office in Palestine,
and allow the office to carry on its work as usual".
decision was taken in order to enable the lawsuit brought by the Ministry of
Information to follow its natural course, reports say quoting the statement
form the Prime Minister's office.
IFJ last week warned that recourse to courts will only lead to intimidation of
media and called on the Palestinian Authority to find alternatives ways to
challenge comments it criticised Al-Jazeera for.
is disappointing that the Government maintains its lawsuit, "added White. "No
alternative seems to have been considered for addressing its grievances. This
flies in the face of its stated concern for public freedoms, journalistic and
For more information contact
the IFJ at: + 32 2 235 2207
IFJ represents more than 600,000
journalists in 123 countries around the world