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Cybercrime law draws mixed reactions among Palestinians

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas recently approved a law to battle cybercrime in the West Bank, but some journalists and citizens worry ulterior motives might be involved. The version of the bill Abbas signed June 24 isn’t the one journalists and the public were expecting, said Nabhan Khreisheh, a member of the Union of Palestinian Journalists’ General Secretariat. He told Al-Quds …

Gaza to see forced military retirement in June

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Palestinian Authority (PA) is set to enact in June a controversial law that will force about half of Gaza’s security personnel to retire, while leaving the West Bank’s force intact. Officials in the security services have started contacting staff members to inform them of …

Israel detained 509 Palestinians in March, report says

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained 509 Palestinians across the occupied Palestinian territory during the month of March, prisoners’ rights organizations said in a joint report on Sunday. The report — written by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, and …

PA bans Palestinian lawmaker from leaving West Bank

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) was denied entry into Jordan from the occupied West Bank via the Allenby Bridge by Palestinian Authority (PA) checkpoint authorities on Wednesday. Najat Abu Bakr told Ma’an that the PA crossings authority in Jericho had informed her that she …

Fatah seventh conference: What was missing from Abbas’ speech?

RAMALLAH, West Bank — After casting his ballot in Fatah’s recent elections, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Dec. 3 it had been a peak democratic experience. “This is a democratic festival by all accounts, the world could see that these meetings were correct and transparent and democratic.” There was …

Palestinian women cross divide to meet at ‘peace tables’

    Palestinian women attend a rally calling for an end to Palestinian divisions to mark International Women’s Day, in Gaza City, Gaza, March 8, 2011. (photo by REUTERS/Mohammed Salem) RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies (Masarat) held its second women’s peace table on Oct. 26. A videoconference brought together two meetings: …

Palestine constitutional court allows president to revoke lawmaker immunity

[JURIST] The Palestinian Constitutional Court ruled Sunday that President Mahmoud Abbas can revoke the parliamentary immunity of lawmakers, which will allow him to expel various political opponents. The ruling upheld Abbas’ 2012 revocation of Mohammad Dahlan’s immunity; Dahlan is considered Abbas’ potential successor and lives in self-imposed exile to avoid …

Why opinion polls won’t bring democracy to Palestine

The Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) can be seen as a “republic of polling centres”. Over the past two decades, opinion polling has become an industry that attracts local, regional and international actors. The results of these polls give an overall indication of the “public mood”, but they are not taken …

Palestinian election delayed indefinitely, widening rift

World Bulletin / News Desk The political gap between the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip has widened after the Palestinian Supreme Court ruled last week that municipal polls would not be held in the latter, according to a senior Hamas official. In exclusive comments to Anadolu Agency, Basem …

Local Palestinian elections ‘referendum on Abbas rule’

The Palestinian Authority is buying time to avoid an electoral defeat, analysts say. The Palestinian Authority decided to delay the vote for up to four months after the Central Elections Commission ruled that the Gaza Strip could not participate in the vote [Reuters] The fate of local elections in the …