Israel shuts down Palestinian radio station over incitement charges

Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 Nov 2015

The raid on the station came hours apart from a raid on Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli settlers under the protection of armed occupation forces, as reported by Palestinian media

Al-Hurria radio
IDF soldiers raid the Al-Hurria radio station, November 2, 2015.Screen grab from Al-Huriya Website

The Israeli military raided a Palestinian radio station in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday and confiscated equipment it claimed was being used to incite violence against Israeli settlers.

The radio station's director, Ayman Qawasmeh, said Israeli troops raided the station after 2am, destroying equipment and confiscating transmitters.

"This is clear, violent aggression against the Palestinian media," he said, as reported by AP. "We did not incite, we just reported on Israel's daily crimes against our people in Hebron. They want to silence our voice."

The Palestinian Press Syndicate called on the Federation of Arab Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists to condemn Israel's attacks on Palestinian media, and to announce a clear stance against practices that impede Palestinian journalists from doing their professional duty.

In a separate incident, also on Tuesday morning, dozens of Israeli settlers raided Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of armed occupation forces, the Palestinian Safa news agency reported.

Palestinians have been protesting since the beginning of October against Israel's attempts to build more settlements in east Jerusalem and force out Arab residents of the city, which is the planned capital of a future Palestinian state.

The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces since the beginning of October has climbed to 72, while the number of injured has reached 2,240.

The current wave of protests and repression started in late July when toddler Ali Dawabsha was burned to death and three other Palestinians were severely injured after their house in the occupied West Bank was set on fire by Israeli settlers.

Palestinian protests were also triggered by an increase in Jewish visitors to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is considered the third holiest site in Islam. Palestinians fear that Israel is preparing to allow Jewish prayers in the mosque, which is currently not allowed.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 war. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a declaration not recognised by the international community.

Israel's lawmakers voted on Monday to impose a minimum three-year jail sentence on stone throwers, the Knesset website said. The law was approved by 57 votes against 17, AP reported on Tuesday.

Jamal Zahalka, an opposition MP for the Joint List, a coalition of Arab-Israeli parties, denounced the law, saying it would only add fuel to the fire.

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