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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 101

An Islamic Militia Claimed Blasting Al Arabiya News Channel in Gaza

By Mohammed Mar'i*

Ramallah, Occupied Palestine, 26 January, ( Although it isn't the first time the Palestinians hear ‘cover’ names for Palestinian armed militias after blasting and violent incidents in the West Bank and Gaza, an armed group called 'Suyuf Al-Haq Al-Islamiya', which means 'The Islamic Swords of Right Group', has claimed responsibility for the explosion at Al-Arabiya news channel in Gaza City on Monday night.

The group said in a statement that this explosion came as part of its campaign "Al-Ard Al-Baida", that means 'The White Land'. It said that the campaign has been launched to make "the land of Rabat pure from infidelity and corruption". 'The land of Rabat' is an Islamic term referring to the region surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the land of historic Palestine.

The statement accused Al-Arabiya of lying, hypocrisy and infidelity over several months. In its statement, the Group accused the Channel of being the voice of the Jewish state and not an Arabic channel. It said, "The perpetrators of this explosion send a message to the channel and other channels that put themselves in the service of Zionism whose main concern is to fight Islam and Muslims."

This Group has also claimed responsibility for the bombing of several Internet cafes and stores selling popular music cassettes in the Gaza Strip, and also for threatening women who wear modern cloths and unveiled their faces in the Gaza Strip.

At the beginning of 2006, this same group threatened to blow up churches in the Palestinian territories after newspapers in Denmark published insulting cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad, and also after the Pope Benedict XVI expressed comments in a lecture at a German university that were considered insulting about Islam.

In another violation of the freedom of expression in the West Bank and Gaza, the Executive Force has said that "it will prosecute any media outlet that does not broadcast or publish neutral news and insists on publishing lying and deception, and ignores the obvious realities".

The media office of the Executive Force, which is an armed militia under the control of the Hamas Minister of Interior Said Siyam, "promised to pursue any outlet that provokes incitement against members of the Executive Force and puts their blood in danger". The office said that "whereas some local radio stations and websites say they provide the truth, and that they broadcast the news, accurately and objectively, we (the media office) find that the reality is that they are exposing allegations, thereby losing credibility in the eyes of our people."

The media office also called "the Palestinian people not to believe the so-called 'salaried mouthpieces' which do not allow other parties an opportunity to explain their points of view". It also "called the print media, radio and television to deal professionally with the statements from the Executive Force's media and to convey the facts and events in the Palestinian arena with responsibility and professionalism".

*Mohammed Mar'i is a freelance Palestinian journalist based in Ramallah, Occupied Palestine.

- Asian Tribune -

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