Israeli occupation authorities continued their systematic attacks and grave breaches against media freedoms in Palestine, as at dawn on Wednesday 31/08/2016 IOF stormed Radio Sanabel Office that broadcasts from Hebron district /West Bank, destructed and confiscated many of its equipment and contents, rather than arresting five member of its staff, a clear cut of an Israel systematic practice and policy that explicitly target Palestinian Media Institutions and undermine their ability of work.
Board of Directors member at Radio “Sanabel” Wajdi Mohammed Guraz in his affidavit reported to MADA “at two o’clock in the morning (31/08/2016) a force of IOF around 15 armored vehicles surrounded the area where Sanabel Radio is located, they stormed the headquarter which is located at Dura City Center/ Hebron Governorate, after smashing the front door”.
He also added “at the Radio station they arrested the broadcast engineer Hamed Alnamoura (25years), while they arrested the director of the radio station Ahmad Sameeh Darawish (23yeas), and the broadcasters (Muntaser Mohammad Nassar/23 years, Nidal Omar/23 years,Mohammad Akram Omran /23 years) all were arrested from their houses)”.
Guraz clarified “IOF confiscated all equipment at the headquarters, listing: a transmitter, mixer, 4 Personal Computers , 2 laptops, 3 microphones,2 TV screens, one Router, Fiber for Net, and smashed and remained equipment at the headquarters, they welded the front door of the radio station and stick a decision of 3 months shut down under the pretext of receiving funds from Hamas as mentioned in (the military decision of shutting down the station), noting that we launched a campaign yesterday to rebuild houses of Palestinian prisoners at Israeli detention center, which were demolished in Dura City.”
Al Sanabel Radio Station is considered to be the third media institution that is exposed to such grave and serious attack, since the beginning of 2016, and the sixth in less than a year ago (particularly since early October 2015) rather than other threats by Israeli Occupation of shutting down three other media institutions, besides, to 20 other media institutions that were exposed to bombardment and destruction during Operation Protective Edge (Aggression on Gaza 2014).
This violation against Sanabel Radio Station is considered as another series of the continued and systematic attacks against media institutions that aims to silent Palestine Media through different practices; one of the most serious is targeting media organizations severely that underline their ability to continue performing and work due to the heavy losses and serious damages that hinders and impedes them to resume its work.
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms “MADA” strongly condemns this grave breach and serious attack against Al Sanabel Radio station and all other Israeli violations against media freedoms that escalated to 17% since the first half of 2016, hence, MADA demands the international community to put pressure On Israel to cancel their decision of shutting down the radio station, releasing its staff, and to abide by International Human Rights and Humanitarian law, and stop all their blatant systematic violations and to ensure reparation of all equipment that were destructed and losses that took place, and to abide Israel by law and respecting Freedom of Expression to the Palestinian people and stop their punitive measurements that include destruction and shutting down media institutions.