Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the arbitrary and illegal Israeli police raid of 6 June on Palmedia, the Palestinian Authority’s media centre in East Jerusalem.
The media centre includes a Palestine TV bureau and the studios of the very popular weekly programme “Good Morning Jerusalem,” which was being broadcast live as the raid took place.
The show’s producer, Nader Beibars, and Palmedia cameraman Ashraf Al-Showeiki were arrested during the raid, interrogated, and released after 90 minutes.
“This raid, and the broadcast shut-down, join the long list of violations of Palestinian news media rights by the Israeli security forces, with never-ending threats, arrests and military operations,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“The Israeli authorites keep on persecuting the Palestinian media and journalists. After seizing Al-Wattan TV’s tranmission equipment in 2012, the military are now theatening it with another raid on the grounds that it obtained its new frequency illegally.”
The raid of June 6 cut short broadcasting of “Good Morning Jerusalem.” Presenter May Abu Assab said she was threatened and ordered to stop the broadcast, which was about the hunger strike that around 100 Palestinian administrative detainees began on 24 April to demand their release.
An Israeli police spokesperson nonetheless denied that the broadcast was stopped. “No programmes were interrupted and the investigation is ongoing,” she said.
Palmedia spokespeson Luba Samri told Agence France-Presse: “Police carried out searches at the headquarters of the television channel as part of an investigation into the content of its programmes.”
The Israeli police said Palestine TV did not have the required broadcasting permists, while Iraeli public radio said the Israeli police suspected the station of broadcast incitements to violence and terrorism.
The raid came amid tension following demonstrations in Palestinian cities to mark the “Naksa,” the defeat of the Palestinians by the Israelis in the Six-Day War in 1967.