The Israeli army conducted a raid before dawn Friday in local TV in Ramallah, closed its offices and arrested its director, after the announcement of a new turn of the screw at the continuing violence.
Israel accuses Falestine al-Yom (Palestine today) of being the mouthpiece of the Islamist radical movement Islamic Jihad and incite hatred in its programs.
The raid in Ramallah, the center of Palestinian political and economic decision in the occupied West Bank, is the first manifestation of a new turn of the screw announced this week by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu against the Palestinian media that would help, he said, to excite passions.
Since October 1, a wave of violence in Israel and the Palestinian Territories has killed 188 Palestinians, 28 Israelis, two Americans, one Eritrean and Sudanese, according to an AFP count. Most of the dead Palestinians are authors or suspected attackers.
Friday, another attack took place in the Old City of Jerusalem, a Palestinian stabbed in the chest a Jewish ultra-Orthodox thirties suffering from moderate injuries, according to police and the Israeli emergency.
The assailant aged 18 and originally from the West Bank, was arrested, police said.
The military raid in Ramallah targeted two companies: Falestine al-Yom and the same floor of the building, the production company Trans Media, which provides services to many local and international channels, including al Falestine Yom.
Cables were cut and hung the walls in the premises of Trans Media; assembly and distribution of rooms had been emptied of equipment, noted journalists from AFP.
On the next door office Falestine al-Yom, an order of the Israeli army proclaimed in Arabic: “This place is closed with immediate effect and shall remain closed.”
Raghda Atmeh correspondent Falestine al-Yom, categorically rejected Israeli accusations. “All Palestinian journalists who report the truth are seen [by Israel] as inciting hatred,” said she told AFP.
The broadcast programs provided from Beirut, continued however.
Israeli forces arrested at his administrative office director Falestine Yom al-Farouq Aliat, 34, cameraman Mohammed Amr and engineer Chebib Chebib, the union of Palestinian journalists.
The latter two were later released, told AFP Mohammed Amr.
“The damage is huge and we can not yet quantify it,” said the director of Trans Media Ibrahim Houssary while the company “can not be held responsible for any editorial line.”
Falestine al-Yom “calls for terrorism against Israel. It is an essential tool of Islamic Jihad to incite violence, “accusing Israeli intelligence. As for the director, still retained, it is “an Islamic Jihad militant already imprisoned in Israel for its activities.”
A “Jerusalem Intifada” logo
Israel considers the Islamic Jihad, second Islamist force in the Palestinian territories as “terrorist”, as the majority of Palestinian movements.
Islamic Jihad denounced “Israeli aggression against the nationalist media and resistant.”
Falestine al-Yom uses since early October a “Jerusalem Intifada” logo when it discusses the current violence.
The violence resulting from oppression of the occupation, the lack of perspective of independence, economic frustration and discredit the Palestinian authorities, experts say.
Israel has already closed two Palestinian radio stations in the Hebron tinderbox in the southern West Bank, in November.
At the continuing violence and the pressure of the hardest right and opinion, the Netanyahu government decided on Tuesday new measures: increased repression of the media, completion of the security wall around Jerusalem, revocation of work permits for relatives of bombers and new effort to shorten the destruction of houses of bombers.
It also decided to target illegal Palestinian workers in Israel and those who employ or host the.
Wednesday and Thursday, the Israeli police arrested 427 illegal Palestinian workers, and 53 people using them, housing them or carrying.