IDF troops raid Palestinian media outlets suspected of incitement. .
(photo credit: IDF)
Israeli troops raided the offices of eight Palestinian media and production outlets in the West Bank overnight Tuesday, suspecting them of distributing and broadcasting inciting material.
During the joint operation carried out by IDF troops, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Civil Administration, equipment and documents from channels affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad were seized and two suspects were arrested, the IDF said in a statement.
The IDF served several companies in Bethlehem, Nablus, Hebron and Ramallah, including Pal Media, Ram Sat and Trans Media, with closure orders. According to Palestinian reports, forces also raided the offices of the Al-Quds channel in Hebron, and the Palestine Alyoum and al-Aksa channels in Ramallah.
Palmedia, is a member of the Palestinian Telecommunications Group, which provides broadcast services to several media outlets such as Russia Today, al-Mayadeen, al-Manar and al-Quds news. IDF troops also raided Pal Media in July, suspecting it of producing and distributing inciting material and confiscating dozens of documents and media materials.
The al-Quds and al-Aqsa channels are affiliated with Hamas, while Palestine Alyoum is affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement. Because the three channels broadcast from Gaza and Lebanon, they did not cease operations.
A few dozen Palestinian journalists protested the raids in front of one of the UN buildings in Ramallah, while Palestinian Authority government spokesman Yousif Mahmoud blasted the raids, calling them “a blatant assault and disgraceful double violation of all international laws.”
Mahmoud added that the raids “are a part of the occupation’s plans to prevent media coverage of the atrocities it perpetuates,” and that such “assaults will sap any international efforts, including those of the US, to advance peace and security in the region.”
The army said the raids were part of “expanded counterterrorism efforts in ongoing efforts against all terrorism elements, including incitement” in the West Bank, and that Israeli security forces “will continue working against incitement to terrorism on the understanding that it is a direct cause of terrorist attacks, which are inspired by it, and ground-level support of terrorism.”
In June, the PA Attorney-General’s Office banned multiple Palestinian news sites affiliated with Hamas and Fatah dissident Mohammad Dahlan. Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.