Palestinian journalist Ayman al-Aloul from Gaza recently stated publicly that he will from now on write only on lifestyle and fashion, and not on the political, economic and security situation in the Hamas-ruled enclave.
This decision was made after al-Aloul was arrested and tortured by the Hamas regime.
The journalist was the only Palestinian television reporter to have openly criticized the Hamas leadership in a televised broadcast. According to al-Aloul, Hamas was responsible for the widespread ruin in Gaza.
It was little surprise that he and several other like-minded Palestinian bloggers and writers were then arrested by the Hamas regime.
“This arrest has made me a new man,” al-Aloul said in a statement released following his brief detention. “I have decided not to write bout the economic situation in the Gaza Strip. What I’ve been through the last few days was incredibly difficult. They (Hamas) believe that my comments misrepresent the government in Gaza and unjustly criticized the Palestinian resistance.”
The arrest of al-Aloul and his colleagues in turn resulted in even more criticism of the Hamas regime in Palestinian society. The economy in Gaza is a shambles, and promised reconstruction following the last Gaza war has not progressed. It is not Israel, but rather Hamas that is chiefly responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza.
Al-Aloul and other Palestinians have echoed what much of Palestinian society is feeling, as it suffers under rising unemployment and poverty. Hamas fears an “Arab Spring” could break out in Gaza, and for this reason sought to muzzle growing discontent by arresting and intimidating al-Aloul and others like him.
The mainstream international media, meanwhile, continues to publish exactly what Hamas & Co. tells them. Any time a differing opinion arises, especially one expressing criticism like al-Aloul, he or she is swept aside and hushed as a “troublemaker.”
The reality is that true freedom of the press in the Middle East exists only in Israel. This fact is often admitted by Palestinian journalists in conversations with colleagues, especially those on the Israeli side of the fence.
From now on, Ayman al-Aloul will report on the lifestyles, colorful fashion and diverse culture of Gaza, even as most of the population wallows in unemployment.