January 19, 2002 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Destruction of Voice of Palestine's building. Reporters without Borders indignant at that new act of war against Palestinian media

In a letter addressed to Defence minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF – Reporters Without Borders) got indignant at the destruction, by Tsahal, of the television and radio building of the Palestinian authority, in Ramallah. "This action is utterly unacceptable, whatever the judgement we may have about the content of the programs broadcast by Voice of Palestine. We protest against that deliberate policy of eliminating all official Palestinian point of view on the conflict. After having refused to renew the press cards of Palestinian journalists working for the foreign press, the Israeli government is reducing to silence the media of the Palestinian authority", affirmed Robert Ménard, RSF General secretary. Further to these mass violations of press freedom by the Israeli government, Reporters Sans Frontières has decided to produce a document listing these acts unworthy of a democracy to the Commission of human rights at the United Nations in Geneva. According to the information collected by RSF, on 19 January 2001 at dawn, the Israeli army exploded the television and radio building in Ramallah. A column of tanks belonging to Tsahal encircled the seven-storey building sheltering the Voice of Palestine. The Palestinian employees had gone out of the building a few minutes before. The Israeli army seized some materials. Then, the soldiers blew up studios and premises. The explosion destroyed most of the building that was still ablaze in the morning. Despite that new attack, the Palestinian radio keeps on producing and broadcasting programmes from private radios of West Bank and the public television operates regularly from Gaza. Already in the evening of 13 December 2001, Tsahal had destroyed, through bombing and bulldozers, the building and retransmission antenna of the Palestinian television and radio programmes in Ramallah. These official media have been constrained to use private radios and television antennae to broadcast their programmes.