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Normalisation allegations facing journalists resolved: Press Syndicate

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Syndicate says journalists who visited Palestine last month did not violate general assembly measures forbidding normalisation with Israel

A report detailing clarifications surrounding journalists who face allegations of normalisation should resolve the controversy surrounding their trip to Palestine, said the Press Syndicate Board in a statement.

Senior members of the Press Syndicate, led by Chairman Diaa Rashwan, met on Saturday evening to discuss a report that had been put together by a committee tasked with investigating the incident. The committee was formed by the syndicate’s board after questions were raised about an Egyptian delegation’s visit to Palestine and whether it violated resolutions passed by the syndicate’s general assembly banning all forms of normalisation with Israel.

The visit in question occurred from 10-16 November as a result of an invitation from the Palestinian Press Syndicate and the Arab Journalists Union, and the delegation had “stressed its full commitment…to prohibit all forms of normalisation, deal in any way with [Israel] , or any other institutions or entities affiliated with it.”

The syndicate’s report said that the delegation had visited occupied East Jerusalem under the auspices of Palestinians and made the trip to speak to family members of detained Palestinians.

“They stressed that their decision was made after assurances by the Palestinian resistance that the visit would be arranged covertly, and without the knowledge of the occupation authorities,” said the report, which added that the visit did not involve receiving issued visas from Israel.

The Egyptian delegation included three board members of the syndicate. It arrived to Ramallah through Jordan to avoid normalisation with Israel. The syndicate’s general assembly since the 1980s has passed resolutions banning any professional or personal normalisation with Israel.

Had the journalists’ passports taken Israeli visas, legal consequences would have been pursued, according to secretary-general of the press syndicate Karem Mahmoud.

The syndicate board said it hoped that in light of the report stating that the journalists had not violated the previously passed resolutions, the general assembly would consider it the end of the controversy and carry on with its work on a number of issues facing the syndicate and journalists.


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