Israel raids private Palestinian television station

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 29, 2012 3:39 AM
Israel raids private Palestinian television station

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli soldiers raided a Palestinian television station in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday and seized broadcast equipment, computers and files, an employee said.

Ahmed Milhem said soldiers gave no reason for the raid on privately-owned Watan TV in Ramallah, which began at 0200 a.m. (1200 GMT) and lasted for three hours.

"They seized computers, broadcast equipment and administrative files," Milhem told Reuters by telephone. "The station is now off the air," he added.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said she had no initial information but was checking for details.

The television station is owned by local non-governmental organizations and broadcasts local news and cultural and political programs over the Internet.

Ramallah is the seat of the Palestinian Authority, which Israel has accused of not doing enough to fight incitement against the Jewish state. The Palestinians say Israeli raids undermine their authority over West Bank areas under their civilian control.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in late 2010 amid differences over Israel's settlement building and there appears to be little prospect of them being restarted soon.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta, writing by Sami Aboudi)