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MADA: Israel closes an office of the official Palestine TV in Jerusalem

Ramallah – (20/11/2019).Five days after the Palestinian photojournalist Moath Amarneh lost his eye to a bullet fired by an Israeli soldier, the Israeli occupation continues to escalate its violations and attacks against media freedoms in Palestine. Today, the Israeli occupation forces closed the office of the official Palestine Television in the city of Jerusalem, for six months, after they stormedAl-Arz Media Services Company in Jerusalem.

According to The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) researcher in Jerusalem, an Israeli police force and intelligence broke into the office of Al-ArzMedia Services Company at Al-Sawana neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem.It is worth mentioning that Al-Arz Company provides Palestine TV with media services, and Palestine Television has two offices in it (News Office and Program Office).

The researcher confirmed that the Israeli forces deployed in the building, on the roof and in front of the building, and subjected the director of the company Ayman Abu Rmouz to an investigation about the services provided by the company, which lasted two hours (from 9:30 to 11:30) before they took him to al-Maskobiya investigation center. Later, the Israeli forces posted multiple papers of a decision issued by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan on the doors of the company.

The decision stated that the offices and studio of the company should be closed for six months under the pretext of “the establishment of television broadcasting activities that belongs to the Palestinian Authority”. However, the issuance of the decision dates back to 13/10/2019, which is more than a month ago.

During the incursion, the Israeli police prevented a guest from entering a TV program, which led to the cancellation of the program. They also deleted a video that a young man took during the Israeli incursion. Additionally, the Israeli soldiers confiscated a set of TV equipment, including two computers (one of them a laptop) and several external memory units.Also, the correspondent of the news department of Palestine TV in Jerusalem, journalist Christine Rinawi, was required to be summoned for questioning at al-Maskobiya Center today, Rinawiwent there immediately.

MADA Center condemn the closure of the office of Palestine TV, which is part of Israel's efforts to silence the Media and prevent the Palestinian story from spreading, through a series of repression against the media and journalists.

MADA Center calls upon the various human rights institutions and the international community to pressure the Israeli occupation authorities to reopen the office of Palestine TV, to enable the Palestinian media outlets and journalist to work freely, to stop the Israeli attacks that are escalating, and finally to hold the perpetrators accountable.