Closing decision

IOF close down leading Palestinian channel, kidnap journalists

PNN/ Ramallah/
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Friday overnight have broke into, attacked and closed down the Al-Bireh-based leading Palestinian channel, Filasteen Al-Yawm (Palestine Today), in addition to its broadcasting company, Trans Media, in Ramallah, central West Bank, and kidnapped journalists.

Local sources told PNN that intense Israeli troops broke into the headquarters of the channel in Al-Bireh town north of Ramallah, confiscated property, and closed down the offices. The closure came under the pretext of “inciting violence” through material used in the channel broadcast.

IOF also kidnapped director of the channel, journalist Farouq Elayyat from his home in BirZeit town in Ramallah. In addition, forces kidnapped photojournalist Mohammad Amr and Broadcast technician Shbeib Shbeib.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate strongly denounced the attack saying it was part of the Israeli serial and systematic violations against journalists and Palestinian media; an act that represents Israeli desperation and insolence.

The Israeli cabinet, headed by Benyammin Netanyahu last Wednesday has decided to carry a series of “punitive measures” against the Palestinian media, claiming that it was inciting violence.

This is not the first Israeli attack on Palestinian media.
Last November, Israeli soldiers broke into the headquarters of Al-Hurriyya Media Network, destroyed the offices, confiscated the tools and threatened to demolish the entire building if the network works again, accusing it of “inciting” Palestinians against the Israeli occupation.

Since the start of October 2015, over 190 Palestinians have been killed, in addition  to 30 Israelis, settlers and soldiers.

The current tension situation is ongoing since October first 2015, due to repetitive Israeli settler attacks on Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest place in Islam, and Israeli restrictions over Palestinian entrance, in addition to the Duma arson attack which killed a baby and his parents on July, 31.

IOF has been criticized internationally in recent months for its ‘preemptive shootings’ of Palestinians alleged to be holding knives.

In addition several of the incidents in which the IOF has claimed that they were ‘attacked’ have proven to be false.