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Page last updated at 13:27 GMT, Sunday, 19 July 2009 14:27 UK

West Bank lifts ban on al-Jazeera

The al-Jazeera offices in Ramallah
Al-Jazeera denies allegations of bias in its reporting from the region

Arabic satellite news TV al-Jazeera has resumed its broadcasts in the West Bank, after a ban on it was lifted by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Last week's ban came after a guest on the station accused Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas of collaborating with Israel to have Yasser Arafat killed.

The PA had accused the broadcaster of spreading lies and inciting viewers against the West Bank authorities.

Al-Jazeera has been told it still faces legal action over the accusations.

The dispute began on Tuesday, when Farouk Kaddoumi - a long-time rival of Mr Abbas - alleged during an al-Jazeera talk show that the Palestinian leader had collaborated with Israel to kill Mr Arafat.

Mr Kaddoumi has released what he says were the minutes of a meeting between former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Mr Abbas as evidence.

Fatah officials have denounced the document as a forgery.

On Wednesday Al-Jazeera's West Bank headquarters in Ramallah were closed down by the PA.

But on Sunday bureau chief Walid al-Omary said Prime Minister Salam Fayyad had phoned him to say the ban had been lifted. The station's staff have resumed covering the news.

But Mr Fayyad said his government would still press ahead with a lawsuit against the Qatar-based channel for alleged incitement, Mr Omary added.



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