Hamas Lifts Ban on Some Newspapers

GAZA (Reuters) -

The Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip said on Wednesday it had relaxed a ban on Palestinian newspapers published outside the enclave as a gesture of reconciliation to rival group Fatah after their unity deal last month.

The announcement came two days after Palestinian Authority President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas met Hamas’s leader in exile, Khaled Meshaal, in Qatar for their first talks since the unity pact was signed.

The groups have banned newspapers from each other’s territories since Hamas won a 2006 poll and the two parties fought a bloody civil war the following year in which Hamas seized the Gaza Strip and Fatah remained in power in parts of Yehuda and Shomron.

The return to Gaza of Al-Quds, the biggest-selling Palestinian daily, was greeted enthusiastically by Gaza residents who snapped up copies from newspaper sellers shouting out its name.