In a statement on March 25, Abu Hashish acknowledged the arrest of more
than a dozen journalists in March amid the Hamas crackdown on
demonstrations for a government with the opposition Fatah movement. He
said all detained journalists would be released.
"There will no longer be harassment of journalists through beating,
cursing, insulting or chasing the journalists or raiding their offices
without due legal justification," Abu Hashish said.
Officials said the Hamas statement reflected international outrage,
particularly by the European Union, of the raids of the offices of major
foreign news agencies based in Gaza City. They said the foreign media had
threatened to withdraw from the Gaza Strip.
"What has happened from time to time is due to political tensions," Abu
Foreign journalists have warned that the Hamas crackdown would affect
coverage of the Gaza Strip. They said Hamas has attacked journalists
whenever anti-regime unrest appeared.
"Unfortunately, our previous appeals for press freedom have repeatedly
been ignored by Hamas," the Foreign Press Association said. "We again demand
that Hamas allow journalists to do their work and respect the basic right of
freedom of the press. Continued harassment will affect coverage of the