Israel shuts down second Palestinian radio station in West Bank


Ramallah (dpa) – Israeli military forces on Saturday raided a Palestinian radio station in the southern West Bank, confiscating equipment and ordering it shuttered for six months, in the second such move against a broadcaster this month.

Amjad Shawar, director of Radio Hebron, said soldiers in the early morning hours ransacked the offices, located in a Palestinian Authority-controlled area.

Shawar called on the Palestinian leadership and the international community to take steps to prevent Israel from restricting media outlets.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper confirmed authorities shut the station under charges that it was broadcasting “incitement.”

Tensions in Hebron are rife, with Israeli settlers, often armed and living in close proximity to Palestinian residents. Both sides have engaged in acts of violence.

Israel has been on edge in recent weeks after several Palestinian attackers carried out stabbings inside Israel. Some have come from Hebron.

Since the start of October, 16 Israelis have been killed. At least 63 Palestinians have been killed in Jerusalem and the West Bank, including attackers. An additional 19 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian Ministry of Health data.

Radio Hebron is the second station in Hebron to be shut down this month by Israel, after the army shut down Radio al-Horiya on November 3 on similar charges.

The West Bank has more than 40 privately owned radio stations. More than six are in Hebron, but the majority of them are in Ramallah.