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Israeli troops raid West Bank TV and radio stations, forcing some of them off the air

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders has condemned Israeli army raids that occurred on 21 May 2007 on five Palestinian radio and TV stations in the West Bank city Nablus. Some of the stations have stopped broadcasting because the soldiers removed equipment.

"There was no justification for these raids and, even less so, for the confiscation of transmitting equipment from these stations," the press freedom organisation said. "The Israeli army is yet again resorting to intimidating methods to put pressure on media consider hostile to Israel."

Computers and broadcasting equipment were seized in the raids carried out during the early morning hours of 21 May on the pro-Hamas TV stations Al-Afaq and Sana TV. Two radio stations also linked to the Islamist movement, Jabal Al-Nar and Koran Radio, suffered the same fate. Two other TV stations, Gama TV and Nablus TV, were also searched. None of the TV stations has so far been able to resume broadcasting.

Israeli military and foreign ministry officials told Reporters Without Borders during a fact-finding visit to Israel in December that the Israel Defence Forces targeted media on the basis of their use for military purposes and not because of their programming. The press freedom organisation had raised the matter of an Israeli air strike on installations of the Lebanese TV station LBC in east Beirut on 22 July 2006 in which a technician was killed.

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