The Israeli army stormed several buildings hosting the headquarters of local Palestinian TV and radio stations, confiscating most of the contents and interrupting transmission on Monday at dawn.
Palestinian sources stated that a large Israeli force stormed the city of Nablus and attacked the buildings, confiscating archive tapes, informational materials, documents and broadcast transmitters. Several media outlets were forced to go off the air in the attack.
Abeer Al Kilani, director of the Jama TV, stated that troops attacked the headquarters of her TV station, confiscating computers, audio& video editing devices and archive tapes which date 13 years. She also stated that her TV went off air during the attack.
The army also attacked several other media outlets including Sanah TV. Radio stations were also attacked. At the Al Quran Al Kareem (meaning Holy Koran) station, soldiers trashed the studio, took the transmitters and left, leaving the station off air.
Issa Abu Al Ezz, the director of the Afaq TV station in Nablus, stated that soldiers took all the valuable things they found in his office and studios and assaulted the night shift employees of the station. Abu Al Ezz added that the station sustained approximate 100, 000 NIS worth of damage. The station was also left off-air.
The Palestinian journalists association condemned these operations, stating that they represented an attack on the freedom of the press, illegal under international law.
The Israeli army has, in the past, allegedly targeted and killed international journalists working in the West Bank and the Gaza strip. Among those killed was the BBC journalist James Miller, who was shot while making a documentary about children in the Gaza Strip. More recently, the Palestinian journalist Fadi Arruri was shot in the abdomen while documenting an Israeli incursion into the central West Bank city of Ramallah, leaving him critically wounded and fighting for his life for many months to come.
The possibility of being injured or killed is the not the only issue that journalists face in the occupied Palestinian territories. Due to Israeli military checkpoints and restrictions on freedom of movement for Palestinians, journalists are prevented from covering stories in certain areas. As a result, international news agencies have stopped hiring Palestinian journalists and rely on Israeli or international journalists to cover the ongoing conflict, thus denying the opportunity for an important opinion to be voiced.