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Al-Jazeera's West Bank bureau allowed to reopen

The Palestinian Authority has approved the reopening of Al-Jazeera's bureau in the West Bank three days after it was told to close, but has not renounced suing the Qatar-based broadcaster for spreading "false news".


AFP - The Palestinian Authority on Saturday authorised the reopening of Al-Jazeera's bureau in the West Bank, three days after it was told to close, the pan-Arabic TV news channel said.

"The authority has informed us that we can resume our activities," bureau chief Walid al-Omary told AFP in Ramallah.

However, the authority has not renounced taking the Qatar-based broadcaster to a Palestinian court on allegations of spreading "false news," a source in the information ministry said.

The dispute centers on a report aired by Al-Jazeera and others in which a senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official, Faruq Kaddumi, accused president Mahmud Abbas of collaborating with Israel to kill veteran Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2004.

It was aired a few weeks before the ruling Fatah movement, headed by Abbas, is due to hold a general congress on August 4 for the first time in 20 years to renew its leadership.

Arafat died in November 2004 at the age of 75 in a hospital in the Paris region, but the origin of the illness that took his life remains unclear.

Kaddumi, who was one of Fatah's founding members, vigorously opposed the 1993 Oslo Accords between the PLO and Israel, which Abbas helped negotiate, and has refused to return to the Palestinian territories as Arafat did.

He resides in the Tunisian capital Tunis.

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