February 14, 2012
A free press is not exactly convenient for Palestine…
(challahhuakbar) On January 28, InLightPress, a website that has a run a number of articles critical of Mahmoud Abbas’ rule and general corruption within the Palestinian Authority, was hacked. At the time I wrote that “I am certain that the “political destination” referred to by InLightPress is the office of Mahmoud Abbas.”
After a few days of being offline the site returned and unleashed a scathing press release. InLightPress
said that the attack on its website was “treacherous barbarism,” and that they believe that “the attack came from the Palestinian Authority with the approval of President Abbas.”
According to InLightPress
, Mahmoud Abbas set up a “crisis cell” headed by Sabri Saidam, former head of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology, to carry out the attack.
On February 9, InLightPress reported that users in Palestinian territory, unclear if it included Gaza, could not access their website as Mahmoud Abbas had ordered the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology to block access to the site. On February 12, Amad also reported that access to its website from Palestinian territory had been denied. In response to the incident Victor Shikhman asked Hussein Ibish of the American Task Force of Palestine to comment.
Now, InLightPress is running what they call an “exclusive” interview with an official from the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology. According to the official, InLightPress, and other sites “broadcast sedition and lies to break up the structure of Palestinian society.” As a result, the official said that “It is our right to defend ourselves against this malicious and suspicious campaign.” The official also said that the attacks against Mahmoud Abbas are coming at a bad time because the Palestinians are seeking to wage a diplomatic campaign against Israel. When asked whether the Palestinian Authority was concerned about possible lawsuits, the official responded by saying that there is “no law in Palestine criminalizing this work.”