Israeli forces shut Palestinian Islamic Jihad station

AP News
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Posted: Mar 11, 2016 11:36 AM
Israeli forces shut Palestinian Islamic Jihad station

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli forces on Friday raided a TV station run by the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in the West Bank as part of a crackdown to curb months of violence that Israel says has been fueled by incitement in the Palestinian media.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the head of the Falestine al-Youm — or "Palestine Today" — was detained in the raid in Ramallah early Friday morning. She said Farouq Elayan, 34, had been incarcerated in the past for activities in the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad group. The outlet, which also publishes material on social media sites, encouraged Palestinians to attack Israelis, she said.

In a statement, Falestine al-Youm said two other two staff members had also been arrested and that their equipment was confiscated. Islamic Jihad has carried out suicide bombings and shootings in the past.

Samri said shutting the station was part of efforts to stop incitement to violence.

The raid came as Israel struggles to contain near-daily Palestinian assaults on civilians and security forces that have killed 28 Israelis and two Americans since September.

At least 179 Palestinians have died by Israeli fire in that time, the majority of them said by Israel to have been attackers while the rest died in clashes with Israeli forces.

On Friday afternoon, a Palestinian attacker stabbed and wounded a 29-year-old Israeli man, before running ran away in Jerusalem's Old City, police said. It later displayed a picture of the weapon used, a kitchen knife with a white handle that had been left at the scene. The Palestinian attacker was found and arrested after a short chase, police said.

Israel has long pointed to the glorification of attackers in Palestinian media and social networking sites as a major factor in the recent bloodshed.

Palestinians say it stems from anger at nearly five decades of Israeli rule in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and frustrations at not achieving statehood.