Israeli forces close radio station in West Bank

Israel Defence Forces shut down second radio station in West Bank city of Hebron, accused of incitement against Israel

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Palestinian journalists check the damage after Israeli soldiers entered the offices of the local Palestinian Al-Khalil radio overnight and handed the station a six-month order to close in the West Bank city of Hebron on November 21, 2015.

Israeli forces raided and shut down a Palestinian radio station, al Khalil, accused of incitement against Israel, in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday.

Israel Defence Forces confirmed that military forces’ 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 radio’s head of programming Ezz Haddad said that a large Israeli army unit marched into the radio station and handed them a six-month order for the station to be shut down.

"They took the computers, the communication equipment, everything," Haddad told AFP.

Haddad denied allegations over a recording provided to journalists in where a singer allegedly urges listeners to “lock and load your machinegun and move forward” and to show “no mercy.”

The al Khalil radio stations did not broadcast on Saturday.

This is the second closure by Israeli forces of a Palestinian radio station in Hebron in November.

Palestinian journalists hold banners and their national flag as they demonstrate of the local Palestinian al Khalil radio against a raid by Israeli forces overnight who handed the station a six-month order to close in the West Bank / Photo by AFP

The first radio station to be shut down by Israeli forces, which was also located in Hebron and occured earlier this month, was Manbar al Hurriyya (Freedom Tribune) reportedly affiliated with Fatah.

Amjad Shawar, the director of al Khalil Radio said that Palestinian Authority should work alongside human rights organisation to “stop ongoing Israeli piracy.”

The Palestinian government described the acts of Israeli forces as a violation of international law.

Secretary-general of the Palestinian cabinet, Ali Abu Diak, expressed in a statement that the attack was all a part of the policy of Israel to "oppress the voice of Palestinian rights" and to also stop  publication of the truth regarding "the ongoing ugly crimes Israel is committing against the Palestinian people."

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) reported that violations against the press, both international and Palestinian media, are being continuously repeated in Palestinian territories.

TRTWorld and agencies