Israel raids Palestinian television stations

RAMALLAH, West Bank Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:53am EST

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RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli soldiers raided two Palestinian television stations in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, seizing transmitters the military said were interfering with air traffic communications.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad visited one of the stations, Watan TV in Ramallah, and said the Israeli operation was "oppressive and monstrous" and violated "all international laws".

The Israeli military said Watan TV and Alquds educational television, which is also based in Ramallah, had been asked repeatedly by Israel to stop using frequencies that cut into Israeli wireless communications and air traffic control bands.

"Soldiers accompanied Communications Ministry officials to the pirate stations ... a number of transmitters were seized," a military spokesman said.

Ramallah is the seat of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority and Israeli troops man checkpoints on the edges of the city, just north of Jerusalem.

Fayyad said the raid represented an attack against "what is left of the Palestinian Authority's status in the West Bank", an apparent reference to Israel's overall security control of the territory, which it captured in a 1967 war and where it has built more than 120 settlements.

Palestinians are seeking to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Ahmed Milhem, a Watan TV employee, said the station, owned by local non-governmental organizations, broadcasts news and cultural and political programs. He said the raid lasted some three hours.

"They seized computers, broadcast equipment and administrative files," Milhem told Reuters by telephone. "The station is now off the air."

Alquds television said it expected to receive replacement equipment later in the day and begin broadcasting again.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta and Jihan Abdalla, writing by Ori Lewis)

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Comments (6)
Xira wrote:
Freedom of speech….
…if you are a Jew.

Feb 29, 2012 4:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
Chagrined wrote:
Andrew Adler, owner of ‘Atlanta Jewish Times,’ advocated for U.S. based Mossad agents to take out a president (Obama) deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place, and forcefully dictate that the U.S. policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies. Yes, order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence.
If an American Jew can advocate the assassination of our President, Israel can take out a Palestinian Radio Station.
America and the Palestinians have endured far too much suffering for Israel’s follies. How much longer must we suffer before Israel is held accountable!

Feb 29, 2012 4:44am EST  --  Report as abuse
Austell wrote:
Hard to think of anything more oppressive…

But when you remember that this is broad daylight ethnic cleansing, you’re not surprised.

A shame it isn’t used as a reference point of oppression in line with the current middle east turmoil… but if your propaganda machine won’t even reference the monumental hypocrisy of Israels illegal nuclear weapons in comparison to Irans civil nuclear work then what chance does this stand of being portrayed in context??

Feb 29, 2012 8:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
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