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Monday, October 19, 2009

Ma'an newspaper sues Hamas leader for slander

A few years ago, Ma'an was the only reasonably objective Palestinian Arab news outlet. Every other paper was clearly aligned with with a political party except for Ma'an. It was the only PalArab paper that openly criticized both Fatah and Hamas.

Then, when Hamas took over Gaza and started threatening journalists, Ma'an turned into Hamas' puppy dog. Since then, Ma'an has almost completely stopped its criticism of Hamas, waiting until someone else criticizes the terrorists and then quoting it (usually along with Hamas denials.)

Today, however, Ma'an is taking legal action against a Hamas politician...because he accused the agency of not being pro-Hamas enough.
For the first time in its five year history, Ma’an News Agency is pursuing legal channels against a political figure who verbally attacked the agency.

The controversy concerns remarks by Gaza-based Hamas lawmaker Mushir Al-Masri, who sought to discredit a Ma’an news report that Hamas plans eventually to sign on to the Egyptian-backed Palestinian unity initiative. The report stated that Hamas will sign the deal as soon as the head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Khalid Mash’al, returns from consultations with a foreign country not named by the source.

Al-Masri slammed the report on a Gazan website, saying, “What was posted on Ma’an was just an anecdote … Ma’an is a Fatah mouthpiece whose cheap dealings and publishing of lies bolster the Zionist movement.”

Ma’an’s attorney, Shawki Issa said that Al-Masri’s accusations were harmful. “We are a media institution founded on the principle of civilized debate. We are shocked at this bizarre and rude criticism.”
How dare Hamas accuse Ma'an of being against Hamas! Ma'an must defend its honor as being as pro-terror as any other news agency!