Ramallah- Israeli authorities raided and shut down a Palestinian radio station for six months for allegedly “inciting terrorist attacks” early on Thursday in the southern occupied West Bank.
Israeli soldiers raided Al-Hurriya (Freedom) Media Company and destroyed, damaged, and confiscated various equipment, according to Ayman al-Qawasmi, the head of the radio station.
“It is not the first time the radio is closed; but this time it was done in a barbaric way,” Qawasmi said, noting that the price of confiscated devices reached more than USD 400,000.
All employees and workers have been banned from entering the building until Feb. 14, 2018, according to local media.
“56 employees working in the radio and who support 56 families will not be able to work,” the head of the station stated.
The Palestinian Information Ministry expressed its strong rejection of the Occupation’s decisions and practices.
“The ministry will take all possible measures to stop Israeli crimes against our media institutions,” it said in a statement.
The ministry also called on the United Nations, UNESCO and the International Federation of Journalists to assume their responsibilities towards the Palestinian people by stopping Israeli practices that violate all international laws and conventions.
Earlier this week, Israeli forces arrested a Palestinian wedding band after it performed a song about an assailant who stabbed three Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian media said the band, led by singer Mohammed Al-Barghouti, had been arrested and sound recording devices and studio equipment have been confiscated from Barghouti’s house in the village of Kafr Ein, northwest of Ramallah.
Israel monitors all means of social communication and inspects government and private media, the Palestinian educational curricula, statements of officials, and even the names of institutions, centers and streets, always accusing the Palestinian Authority of incitement.
The closure of the radio station coincided with a wave of arrests in the West Bank on Thursday. An Israeli army statement said that 15 Palestinians were arrested, two from the town of Marka in Jenin district, one from Ya’bad, four from Nablus, one from Tulkarm, five from Ramallah and two from Bani Naim.