Ramallah- In a press conference held today in the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) building, the secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative Dr Mustafa Barghouti denounced the raid on local Palestinian channels Wattan TV and Al-Quds Educational TV by Israeli occupation forces that took place in the early hours before dawn on Wednesday.
“This is a crucial and critical act, a violation of freedom of expression and freedom of press,” Dr Barghouti asserted. “The raid is clearly an attack on Palestinian civil society and human rights.”
A total number of 21 computers were stolen, in addition to financial documents. Estimated losses added up to $300,000. Soldiers made condescending remarks upon seeing a poster of the prisoner Khader Adnan, who rose to prominence after his 66 days on hunger strike, and derided the popular resistance movement and Dr Barghouti’s role in it.
The raid threatens the security of the PA-controlled territories, and challenges the PA’s jurisdiction and power. It was carried out by an armed unit accompanied by a “Wireless Supervision Unit” from the Israeli Ministry of Communications. The excuse given was that Wattan TV is using illegal frequencies that endanger Israeli flight routes.
Dr Barghouti dismissed this as a preposterous claim, pointing out that Wattan TV is licensed by the Palestinian Authority ever since its inception in 1996. Taking into account Israel’s escalating oppressive policies that range from increasing aggression on nonviolence resistance and a rising number of political arrests, Dr Barghouti reiterated the essential need for a mobilized international campaign to pressure Israel’s dire actions of impunity and to hold it accountable for its contraventions of international law.