Palestine newspaper group stops printing Hamas titles

Crackdown on Palestine media continues

RAMALLAH - A Palestinian newspaper group said Thursday that it had stopped printing titles run by Islamist group Hamas after receiving a series of warnings from the Israeli army.
The Al-Ayyam newspaper group, which is based in the West Bank, has stopped printing and distributing Hamas newspapers Falastin, Al-Resala and Al-Istiqlal, its managing editor Abdel Nasser al-Najjar said.
The decision followed a phone call late Wednesday from the Israeli army, threatening to close Al-Ayyam's offices if it did not stop publishing the papers, he said.
The army had no immediate comment.
Israeli soldiers raided Al-Ayyam's offices last month and issued similar threats.
Al-Ayyam has been printing the three papers since April, when a surprise reconciliation deal between the Hamas rulers of Gaza and its Fatah rivals brought the Islamist group's publications back to West Bank newsstands.
In April, Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organisation -- which Fatah dominates -- unveiled a reconciliation deal under which they formed a merged administration for the West Bank and Gaza last week for the first time in seven years.
That was seized upon by Israel, which said it would not negotiate with any Palestinian government backed by Hamas, putting the final nail in the coffin of the latest round of US-brokered peace talks.
In a separate crackdown on Palestinian media, Israeli police raided the Jerusalem studios of Palestine TV on Friday and briefly detained three staff for questioning.
Israeli public radio said police suspected Palestine TV of broadcasting "incitements to violence."