Al Jazeera to resume West Bank operations

PNA to pursue legal action against the Arab news network.
Courts should decide: Al Jazeera bureau chief.
Courts should decide: Al Jazeera bureau chief.

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The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has rescinded a ban it placed on broadcasts by Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera in the West Bank last week. 

Palestine’s prime minister Salaam Fayyad issued a brief statement withdrawing his original order, following international pressure to lift the ban.

“I have decided to revoke the suspension of the work of the [Palestinian] bureau of Al Jazeera,” he said.

Fayyad added however, that the PNA will still pursue legal action against the network, which was also accused of bias against the Palestinian government.  

The prime minister handed down the order for the station to be blocked last week, after it allegedly broadcast accusations of conspiracy against President Mahmoud Abbas by quoting Farouq Al Qadoumi, a senior figure in Abbas' Fatah party.

“This is the right decision. Media outlets should not be banned from doing their work. If they have something against us, they should go to the courts," Walid Al-Omary, Al Jazeera’s Palestine bureau Chief told Reuters.

The decision to halt the network’s operations in the West Bank was globally criticised by international human rights organisations and free speech advocates.
 

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