Israel closes Palestinian organisations in Jerusalem

Palestinian employees of Palestine TV channel inspect a notice of closure at the door of the station's office after it has been raided by Israeli forces in East Jerusalem on November 20, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 21 November 2019

Israel closes Palestinian organisations in Jerusalem

  • The offices of Palestine TV and an office of the Palestinian ministry of education were given orders to close
  • Israel's Public Security minister Gilad Erdan confirmed the closure of offices

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities closed several Palestinian organisations in Jerusalem Wednesday, including a television channel, an Israeli minister and officials from the organisations said.
The offices of Palestine TV -- a channel funded by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority -- and an office of the Palestinian ministry of education were given orders to close for six months, staff members said on condition of anonymity.
The director of the al-Araz production company that hosts Palestine TV was temporarily arrested, while a correspondent for the channel was summoned for questioning, these Palestinian sources said.
Israel's Public Security minister Gilad Erdan confirmed the closure of offices used by Palestine TV and the education ministry.
Israel captured east Jerusalem in a 1967 war and considers the entire city its undivided capital.
The Palestinians consider the eastern part of the city the capital of their own future state.
"I will continue to pursue a firm policy against any attempt by the Palestinian Authority to violate our sovereignty in the capital," Erdan said in a statement seeking to justify the closures.
He accused Palestine TV of producing anti-Israeli content in which the country is presented as "responsible for war crimes and ethnic cleansing."
The Palestinians condemned the closures.
"This is a continuation of the Israeli government's campaign against everything Palestinian in occupied Jerusalem," senior official Hanan Ashrawi said.
MADA, a Palestinian organisation that defends freedom of expression, said the closures were "part of Israel's efforts to silence the media and prevent the Palestinian story from spreading, through a series of repressions against the media and journalists."


Israel strikes in Gaza after rocket attack

Updated 1 min 51 sec ago

Israel strikes in Gaza after rocket attack

  • Strikes targeted two sites belonging to Al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing
  • Late Saturday night, Palestinian militants in Gaza launched three rockets at southern Israel
GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Israeli aircraft carried out attacks in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip early Sunday, Palestinian security officials said, hours after militants in the enclave launched three rockets at the Jewish state.
The strikes targeted two sites belonging to Al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, in northern Gaza, with another series of sorties at a Qassam site west of Gaza City, Hamas officials said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The Israeli army said “fighter jets and attack helicopters struck a number of Hamas terror targets” in Gaza, as well as “a military post belonging to the Hamas naval force in the northern Gaza Strip.”
“The IDF (Israel Defense Force) holds the Hamas terror organization responsible for events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it,” the army said in a statement.
“Hamas will bear the consequences for actions against Israeli civilians.”
Late Saturday night, Palestinian militants in Gaza launched three rockets at southern Israel.
All three projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, the army said, amending an earlier statement according to which two of the three rockets were shot down over southern Israel.
Medics had treated three people in the southern Israeli town of Sderot who suffered minor injuries while seeking shelter as air raid sirens went off, the Magen David Adom emergency medical service said.
There were no immediate reports of material damage.
On November 29, Israeli warplanes struck Hamas positions in Gaza in response to rocket fire at the Jewish state the previous day.
Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007, and Israel holds the Islamist movement responsible for all rocket fire coming from the territory, although it has targeted other militant groups there.
Last month, Israeli forces assassinated a senior Islamic Jihad leader in the Gaza Strip, sparking a two-day flare-up which killed 36 Palestinians.
Islamic Jihad fired around 450 rockets at Israel, many of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.
Israel has fought three wars with Hamas and allied armed groups in Gaza since 2008.