Israel raids, shuts down Palestinian TV station in West Bank

Israeli security agency says it has raided and closed Palestinian TV station in West Bank, accusing it of sparking violence

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Israeli security forces gather at the site of a stabbing attack in the West Bank town of Hebron.

Updated Mar 12, 2016

Israel's Shin Bet internal security agency said on Friday that Israeli forces raided the West Bank offices of Palestine Today television overnight and arrested its manager on allegations of inciting violence.

The Shin Bet claimed that the channel "broadcasts on behalf of the Islamic Jihad," a militant group, and said it had closed it in a joint operation with the army.  

"The channel served the Islamic Jihad as a central means to incite the West Bank population, calling for terror attacks against Israel and its citizens. Incitement was broadcast on the television station as well as the Internet," it said in a statement.

It also claimed Israeli forces arrested Palestine Today manager Farooq Aliat, 34, of Bir Zeit, north of Ramallah, "an Islamic Jihad operative who had been imprisoned in Israel for his activities."

The Palestinian Journalist Union reported that cameraman Mohammed Amr and technician Shabib Shabib were also arrested.

An Army spokeswoman said technical equipment and transmitters were seized from the offices in Ramallah which were ordered to close.

However, the channel continues to broadcast from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

The group denounced "Israeli aggression against the nationalist media of the resistance," calling the raid "another episode in the long saga of oppression by the occupation."

Since last October the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories have seen numerous clashes between frustrated Palestinians and Israeli forces.

The violence has resulted in the deaths of at least 188 Palestinians, 28 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese man.