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PA: Israel seizing broadcast frequencies
Published Wednesday 29/02/2012 (updated) 02/03/2012 10:58
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Ibraheem Hamed, a Palestinian television cameraman from Watan TV,
stands in the station's studio in the West Bank city of Ramallah
February 29, 2012. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) – The Palestinian Authority is describing Wednesday's raids on TV networks in the occupied West Bank as the possible beginning of a "frequency war" over limited broadcasting space.

The confiscation of equipment from Watan TV and Al-Quds Educational TV deprives Palestinians of their right to have frequencies for building modern wireless communication networks, the PA says.

Ramallah Prime Minister Salam Fayyad visited one of the stations, Watan TV in Ramallah, and said the Israeli operation was "oppressive and monstrous" and violated "all international laws".

Suleiman Zuheiri, undersecretary of the Palestinian ministry of telecommunication in Ramallah, said Israel had breached Article 36 of the Oslo agreement, which requires consultations with the PA.

The accord says a joint committee of technical experts representing both sides shall be established to address any issue arising on the topic of communications, including the growing future needs of the Palestinian side.

Zuheiri said the unilateral move should not have been made by the Israeli military, which is not authorized to seize transmitters or intervene in communications issues but did so anyway.

“The Israeli claims that the stations’ transmission interrupts aircraft communication at Ben Gurion airport are false because the airport’s range is very different from the range used by TV stations.

"Civil aviation waves, according to international parameters, start at 120 megahertz, while TV frequencies start at above 500 megahertz,” Zuheiri explained.

He added that the two stations Israeli forces raided and confiscated their transmitters had been registered at the International Telecommunication Union, clear evidence that the action was illegal and violated international treaties.

His ministry was never notified that these two stations caused interruptions, Zuheiri said, nor did Israel's communications ministry inform the Palestinian side of its plans to shut the stations down.

The official said he could not rule out the possibility that Wednesday's raids are the beginning of a wide-scale campaign against other Palestinian stations including PA stations.

Asked about defensive steps by the PA, Zuheiri said an emergency complaint would be sent immediately to the International Telecommunication Union, and another to the Israeli ministry of communication.
1 ) Arab Einstein / USA
29/02/2012 14:54
They are afraid of a third intifada. All modes of communication will be disrupted. This is equivalent to Mubarak shutting down the internet, except the US won't call and complain. It's paramount that Israel prevents a third intifada, it will hinder the small window before the next US election to bomb Iran. If I were the Palistinians, I would use this leverage to save the Iranians from a Israeli bombing campaign.

2 ) NAYLA / G
29/02/2012 16:37
Only provocation! Somehow they must Close the true source. The world should not know the truth about this more and more hated nation. The Oslo agreement?no matter what is written in is not interesting for zionists.the barbarians have no understanding of non Jewish humans.Sooner or later they will realize,it is too late to make the world mouth death for PALESTINE. They will realize that the occupation will soon end. (A thieving dogs take everything but gets nothing.... then more hate )

3 ) No / Peace
29/02/2012 17:23
Oslo is a joke,PA if read the paper before you signed you would have knowing you sold everything just to come back to box,here and a box there.jewish Zionist,that's you made deals with, they never followed Oslo,and who going to make them,the Arab league,UN,America.get a clue PA if you heve an ounce of blood let the people go back to the streets.

4 ) Hamza / Palestine
29/02/2012 18:00
Do you know what is the most thing make you crazy , that that tv station is in aria A which mean its under Palestinian government control ,,, they get inside and take all what what they need and leave without any shit happened to them i bet you if that thing happened inside a camp they will never get the chance to take what they need easy ! weird Government

5 ) @ No Peace #3 / \ Tibi/Tubas
29/02/2012 18:06
You are right, the PLO "sold everything just to come back" from Tunisia,
but they had NO other choice, except to become internationally irrelevant,
since they could not even start a war with Israel, much less win one, and
their terror attacks were achieving no more than fleas biting a lion, and
their calls for UN intervention today are no more successful, and
"the people going back to the streets" will be no more successful either !!!!

- That is our reality, so what's next ??

6 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
29/02/2012 18:07
Based solely on this report, it definitely appears we are 100% wrong. The Palestinians are apparently RIGHT about us breaching the Oslo Accords regarding our pre-emptive, unilateral raids on their TV stations. Our claim that their TV frequencies interfere with our Ben Gurion airport's air traffic control communications are apparently completely false if indeed everyone is staying within their designated bandwidths. Someone on our side better rectify this damn fast.

7 ) Mitri I. Mulseh / Canada
29/02/2012 19:20
Hey Mr. Zuheiri, Haven’t you got it yet. Israel has breached every article of the Oslo agreement. Israel has preached every UN resolution passed in support of the Palestinian cause. Israel wants no peace. Change your strategy and call for a one state resolution.

8 ) Judo / Canada
29/02/2012 21:08
Thousands of Israeli Arabs also fly in and out of Israel through Ben Gurion every day, not just Jews. You should ask those Israeli Arabs if they want to burn to death in a plane crash just so a few Palestinian TV stations can insist on the right to use poorly maintained improperly tuned broadcast equipment that jam the frequency used by their airplane to contact Ben Gurion. Somehow I think the thousands of Israeli Arabs who use Ben Gurion daily are also happy about these stations being shut.

9 ) Colin Wright / USA
29/02/2012 21:24
The very illegality of the action is intentional. Among other things, it serves as a demonstration of Israel's absolute power. She doesn't have to follow any rules.

10 ) Colin Wright / USA
29/02/2012 21:33
Perhaps the most significant aspect of this is that the story got into the New York Times. That makes it a direct hit on the still-peddled notion that Israel is a Western country with freedom of the press and all that.

11 ) Colin Wright / USA
29/02/2012 21:36
To @ No Peace #5. 'That is our reality, so what's next ??' Since you're obviously a Zionist propagandist, I fail to understand the reference to 'our.' ...Is this the same guy all the time, or is there more than one stupid Jew who thinks he's clever?

12 ) Colin Wright / USA
29/02/2012 21:39
To Yehuda #6 'Someone on our side better rectify this damn fast.' Or else what? You speak as if Israel normally does honor its agreements, commitments, promises, etc.

13 ) Judo / Canada
29/02/2012 22:12
Source: Jerusalem Post, October 21, 2003 Ten managers, directors and broadcasters of Arutz-7, the right-wing settler pirate radio station transmitting from the West Bank settlement of Beit El, were convicted by a Jerusalem court on Monday of illegal broadcasting and interference with air traffic control frequencies used by Ben Gurion Airport. Station director Ya'akov Katz was also convicted on two counts of perjury. Following the court decision, Arutz-7 went off the air.

14 ) ian / australia
01/03/2012 00:50
The fact that Ramallah, in Area A, technically under FULL Palestinian civil and security control is not immune from this kind of perverse Stasi-style raid shows the impossibilty of one big happy state! With two sovereign states side by side, outrages like this would be clear instances of one country attacking another!

15 ) ian / australia
01/03/2012 00:59
#8, #13 "Somehow I think the thousands of Israeli Arabs who use Ben Gurion daily are also happy about these stations being shut." Another sunny take on things Judo, but really, would it have killed them to make a quick call first: "Excuse me, but your TV station is making planes crash at Ben Gurion!" Surely something more calculated and sinister is going on here! (see #9)

16 ) Joe Fattal / USA
01/03/2012 03:27
@5) I just came across your comment. Very stupid of you indeed. How you expect the Palestinians to even start a war when they are not allowed to have the bare necessities from Israel stupid blockade.

17 ) Mark of lewiston / USA
01/03/2012 07:37
Somebody should be suing over this. Sue in both the Israeli courts and the PA courts since Ramallah is Area A, Palestinian law should apply. Go for reparations and return of equipment and exemplary damages (10 times) to lesson the IDF to follow the rules the Israeli government agreed to. Every day of lack of service is lost revenue to be compensated for. Illigitimis non carborundum.

18 ) Judo / Canada
01/03/2012 12:27
For context, I note there are about 30 other Palestinian television stations continuing to operate in the West Bank, even more radio stations, 10s of thousands own satellite dishes to receive TV from around the Arab world, and a Palestinian run cell phone company with 100s of thousands of subscribers. Israel did not object to any of this except for these 2 channels that are broadcasting too near civilian air traffic control and refused to switch frequencies when repeatedly requested to do so.

19 ) No plane has crashed / Germany
01/03/2012 17:16
#15/ I do not think the Ben-Gurion was the reason for such a "state terrorism".It is, as always, an excuse for justifying such a terror.The fact is that the Zionist occupiers simply have fear for the notification of Abbas in 10 Days. Israhel violates not only existing contracts, but Calculated to undermine freedom of expression,It is not the first attack on media freedom in Palistine. Killings, arrests, confiscations and expropriations are the army of occupation on the Zionist agenda.

20 ) @ Joe #16 / \ Tibi/Tubas
01/03/2012 21:09
It is "very stupid of you indeed", to blame the PLO's weakness on an Israeli blockader Gaza now, when they were in Tunisia before the Oslo Accords !!

21 ) EE / UK
02/03/2012 17:56
Even palestininas do not have a right for self-expressions on unauthorized frequencies. But in any case palestinians can complain to UNESCO, Arab League, Organization of Islamic States, Free People of the world, Vatican/Pope, International Olympic Committee, FIFA, Anyone who is not tired of palestinian’s complains.
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