Palestine Government and Media Profile

Palestine Government Bias

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Government

Government Type: Semi‑presidential
Leader: Mahmoud Abbas
Political Party: Fatah
Political Position:  Center-Left 


Press Freedom

World Press Freedom Rank: Palestine 170/180

Palestine is ranked 170 out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2022 index. According to Reporters without Borders, in the West Bank, “journalists are the victims of press freedom violations by the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation forces. In the Gaza Strip, they are threatened by both Israeli military offensives and Hamas policies.” However, most violations against press freedom result from the Israeli occupation.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS), “condemn the extreme violence against journalists and call on the United Nations to provide urgent field protection for media workers reporting on the ground.”

In May 2022, an Al Jazeera journalist was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers.

Media Ownership and Government Analysis

The Palestinian Authority or PA is the body that governs Palestinian areas in the West Bank. The PA President serves as the representative of the Palestinian people in the international community. Hamas and Fatah are two dominant political parties in Palestine. The secular Fatah movement governs the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, and President Abbas is also a member of the Fatah party. On the other hand, Hamas controls Gaza and is an Islamist organization that the United States has designated a terrorist organization. 

The Media in Palestine is under these two parties’ influence and subject to challenges due to the Israeli occupation.

Palestine is dominated by public service media whose funding comes from the Government. The Palestine Public Broadcasting Corporation has two TV channels (Palestine TV and Palestine live channel) and a radio which belongs to the Palestinian Authority (state). They also have Hamas-owned channels, such as Al-Aqsa TV, and broadcasters based abroad, like Palestine Today (Palestine Al Yawm), a Lebanon-based Palestinian TV channel.

As for the print media, newspapers are either operated by or closely affiliated with the PA and Hamas. For example, Filastin is affiliated with Hamas whereas Al-Hayat Al-Jadida is owned by the state and is considered the official newspaper in Palestine and hence pro-Fatah. Al-Ayyam (Ramallah) is also pro-government and Fatah, while Al-Awda belongs to the Fatah movement. Finally, the Al-Quds newspaper is owned by Walid Abu-Zalaf, who tends to be non-partisan.

In Palestine, journalists are regularly subject to arrest, detention, and interrogation by Israeli forces. Further, internet access services require Israeli approval. Finally, the media environment reflects partisanship between Fatah (which controls West Bank and the ruling party) and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Therefore, print and broadcast media are either affiliated with those parties or owned by them. At the same time, Israeli forces threaten press freedom and endanger the safety of journalists. In summary, press freedom is severely limited and censorship high.

Last Updated on May 14, 2022 by Media Bias Fact Check

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