Israel continues media crackdown, closes third Palestinian radio station this month

Published November 29th, 2015 - 10:00 GMT

Israeli forces issued an order for the closure of a Hebron radio station on Sunday morning, the third news outlet to be shut by Israel this month in the occupied West Bank city.

Director of of Dream Radio station, Talab Al-Jaabri, told Ma’an that Israeli forces stormed the station, destroying equipment and damaging offices.

Al-Jaabri said Israeli forces told him the radio station would be closed for six months due to “incitement against Israel.”

Following the closure, Al-Jaabri called on the Palestinian Authority to take action against "the violations."

An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond for comment.

Last week Israeli forces shut down Al-Khalil Radio (Hebron Radio), also in Hebron, on the same grounds of incitement.

The Palestinian government, at the time, denounced the Israeli military raid on the station, describing it as violation of international law.

Secretary-general of the Palestinian cabinet, Ali Abu Diak, had 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 closures of the two stations 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.”

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