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Ma’an responds to Israeli accusations of incitement

Aug. 5, 2017 9:42 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 6, 2017 9:58 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Doing everything within their means to cover events in Palestine in a professional and independent manner, Ma'an News’s journalists work day and night under exceptionally difficult circumstances to provide comprehensive coverage of Palestinian and Israeli affairs.

Special efforts have been made to cover the events surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in July. These efforts included translating reports from Hebrew and including reactions from both Palestinian and Israeli sides at official and popular levels. Quotes from press releases issued by Palestinian factions in response to the situation around Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque were also published. So were threats by Israeli extremists who called for the expulsion of Palestinians and the demolition of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Ma'an did so as part of its mission to provide its readers and audience with a comprehensive a coverage as possible -- as we have done every day in the past 13 years, regardless of local and international reactions.

Ma'an considers itself a "popular" media outlet -- meaning that it is the property of the Palestinian people, and won’t be phased by Zionist lobbies’ attempts to intimidate or bully by exerting pressures on donors.

On Tuesday Ma'an wrote an article in Arabic about a Hebrew-language song advocating violence against Israelis. The network did so as part of its duty to cover all events and reactions to the situation in Palestine in general, and in Jerusalem in particular.

As a result of this report, Ma'an has come under attack by right-wing Israeli entities. Such a campaign against Ma'an is similar to what other Palestinian media outlets have gone through. Attacking Palestinian media won't help stop the uprising, nor will it end violence. It is yet another example that extremist Israelis want to intimidate Palestinian journalists and distract from the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is a political conflict, not a religious one.

When asked to comment on the case during a televised report by Israel's Channel 2 criticizing Ma'an, Editor-in-Chief Nasser Lahham pointed out that Channel 2 and other Hebrew-language news outlets had also recirculated the song, exactly as Ma'an has done.

“To involve the European Union and other donors who fund free journalism in this fabricated crisis is just an attempt to punish Ma'an and Palestinian media," he said.

"We don't incite because we don't believe in incitement, and we don't practice violence because we aren't combatants but rather journalists,” Lahham added. “We welcome any nonpartisan party to be the judge between us and the occupation, but it is unacceptable that the occupation play the role of both the prosecution and the judge at the same time."
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