RT, the BBC, and France24 – among others, are off air following the Israeli raids.
In a surprise military and police raid, Israeli regime forces have broken into and stolen broadcasting equipment from eight Palestinian broadcasters, including Pal Media which provides RT broadcasts to viewers in Palestine.
Pal Media is one of the largest television providers in Palestine, carrying not only RT but also Al Mayadeen, TransMedia and western outlets BBC News and France 24.
The Israeli regime stated that the eight broadcasters whose offices were vandalized and whose expensive broadcasting equipment was either stolen or smashed, were carrying, among many other things, Hamas related media organizations.
قوات الاحتلال تغلق مقرات شركات ترانسميديا وبال ميديا ورامسات الإعلامية في الخليل ونابلس ورام الله وبيت لحم لمدة 6 شهور وتصادر معداتها فجراً. pic.twitter.com/QmZAWmdwJg
— شبكة قدس الإخبارية (@qudsn) October 18, 2017
With Hamas and Fatah, the two main Palestinian parties, formalizing a unity agreement, Tel Aviv continues to vocalize strong disapprobation, stating that they refuse to negotiate with the organization in any guise, even though journalists have exposed the fact that Israel covertly helped to found Hamas in the 1980s.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has condemned the move by Tel Aviv in the following statement:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemns in the strongest terms the aggression by the Israeli occupying forces against the headquarters of a number of Palestinian media institutions in the occupied west bank, and the ministry asserts that such piracy is in the context of ongoing attempts to conceal its daily crimes and acts of aggression. It represents a failed attempt to terrorise and prevent media institutions from doing their part in exposing violations by the occupiers and settlers”.
RT further reports:
Pal Media and RT offices have already fallen victim to the Israeli forces’ raids. In 2014, they broke into the Ramallah office and seized hardware and videotapes as well as breaking a computer and office furniture. In June 2017, Israeli military raided Pal Media’s headquarters in the city, targeting the Palestinian Al-Quds channel.
Israel has previously raided TransMedia, which runs several offices across the country, including two offices in Jerusalem, the area disputed by Palestinians and Israelis, and an office in Hebron in the West bank”.
Watch | Israeli forces shut Palestinian media offices in West Bank
In an age of internet and satellite global inter-connectivity, the Israeli regime continues attempts to deprive Palestinians of the most peaceful weapon available to mankind: the endlessly important, yet non-violent weapon of information. In attempts to continually oppress Palestinians, the information war has become as important a tool as military occupation.
This move by the Israeli regime should be condemned by all journalists and free speech advocates who stand for open, uncensored and multi-dimensional political and social discussions between peoples.
Top photo | File – Israeli troops arrest Associated Press photographer Nasser Shiyoukhi during a Palestinian protest in Yatta in the West Bank. Shiyoukhi was later released without charge. (AP Photo)