Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hamas orders closure of newspaper over caricature

One of Bukhari's caricatures

February 10, 2008

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: A Hamas-dominated court ordered a Palestinian newspaper on Sunday to halt distribution and publication in the Gaza Strip after a cartoon on its back page mocked legislators loyal to the militant group, officials said.

The cartoon was published last November and poked fun at the Hamas-led Gaza government, and its leader, Ismail Haniyeh.

Al-Ayyam is printed in the West Bank, making it unlikely to halt work, but it will now be unable to distribute some 3,500 copies of newspapers in Gaza. The newspaper employs 32 people in the Gaza Strip, said deputy manager Mahdi Masri.

In the cartoon, a caricature by artist Baha Bukhari showed a parliamentary session where Haniyeh is speaking to a row of legislators who all look like him and carry photos of him. In the bottom right corner, it is written, "the illegitimate." (IHT)


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