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Group: Israel forces TV station to stop broadcasting

Feb. 7, 2014 9:50 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 9, 2014 11:01 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's threats against a Palestinian television station in Tulkarem forced its management to stop broadcasting, a Ramallah-based Palestinian media rights group reported Thursday.

Mada quoted Sheraa TV general director Mohamed Zeidan as saying that it received numerous threats from the Israeli army throughout the week that it must stop broadcasting immediately.

The army told the channel that its broadcasts were interfering with communications at its airport in Tel Aviv, according to the official.

Zeidan says the channel consulted technicians from the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Communications and Al-Najah University, who confirmed that the devices do not cause any such interference.

After they presented the Palestinian liaison center with proof, the Israeli military dropped its claims and said that the broadcasting was interfering with an Israeli TV broadcast, according to Zeidan.

“We have taken the decision to stop broadcasting two days ago until we find a solution to this issue, because it is no stranger to the occupation authorities to raid media outlets and confiscate broadcasting equipment, which cost us a fortune,” Zeidan said.

Mada, the rights group, condemned the pressure on the station.

"We call all countries and human rights organizations, to pressure Israel to respect freedom of expression, and a commit to international laws and agreements signed with the Palestinian National Authority," it said.
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