Israeli forces close 2nd Hebron radio station this month

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces issued an order for the closure of a Hebron radio station Saturday morning, the second news outlet to be shut by Israel this month in the occupied West Bank city.Director of Al-Khalil Radio (Hebron Radio), Amjad Shawar, told Ma’an that Israeli forces stormed the station, confiscating equipment and damaging offices.Intelligence officers then delivered a military warrant ordering the station to close for six months due “incitement against Israel.”Shawar said the Palestinian Authority — namely the PA’s ministry of information — should work alongside human rights organizations to “stop ongoing Israeli piracy.”The Israeli army confirmed that military forces, in operation with Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet, and civil administration, confiscated broadcasting equipment from the station.“The al-Khalil radio station has repeatedly broadcasted content which promotes and encourages terror and acts of violence against Israeli civilians and security forces,” the army said in a statement.

The Palestinian government denounced the Israeli military raid on the station, describing it as violation of international law.Secretary-general of the Palestinian cabinet, Ali Abu Diak, said in a statement that the attack was part of Israel’s policy to “oppress the voice of Palestinian rights” and to prevent publication of the truth about “the ongoing ugly crimes Israel is committing against the Palestinian people.”The closure marks the latest violation of press freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territory.Earlier this month, Israeli forces ordered the closure and ban on broadcasting from Manbar al-Hurriyya (Freedom Tribune) radio station, also located in Hebron and reportedly affiliated with Fatah.The Israeli army accused the radio station of encouraging “stabbing attacks” and “violent riots,” and reporting “false and malicious claims of security forces executing and kidnapping Palestinians in order to provoke violence.”The incident came a day after a Palestinian press freedoms watchdog condemned more than 450 violations of media freedoms since the beginning of the year.The watchdog, MADA, has repeatedly reported violations against the press — both international and Palestinian — while reporting from the occupied Palestinian territories.Such violations are carried out by both Israeli and Palestinian security forces, according to MADA documentation.MADA said that while press violations had not reached last year’s proportions, when 17 Palestinian journalists were killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, violations in 2015 had “witnessed an enormous escalation.”

(Source / 22.11.2015)

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