Israeli forces have arrested four staff members of a Palestinian TV channel in Jerusalem al-Quds Friday morning after confiscating their cameras and broadcast equipment, in a move condemned by the Palestinian Presidency.
A producer with Palestine TV, Nader Bibars, reported that Israeli intelligence forces broke into the film set during the broadcast of “Good Morning Jerusalem,” a Palestine TV morning show, on the Mount of Olives in occupied East Jerusalem. Eyewitnesses confirmed to Ma’an News Agency that the presenter of the program, Dana Abu Shamsiyeh, the cameraman, Amir Abd Rabbu, and the guest on the show, Mohammed al-Abbasi, were all arrested and taken to a police station.
Cameras and broadcast equipment were also seized by Israeli soldiers during the raid.
Meanwhile, a filming crew based in the Damascus Gate (Bab Al-Amoud) area, one of the entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, was also harassed by Israeli occupation soldiers who detained and arrested Christine Rinawi, a correspondent for the TV channel, and the cameraman, Ali Yassin, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.
They were all taken to al-Maskoubiyeh prison.
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The arrests came as the Israeli regime issued an order on November 20 banning all Palestine TV programs and shows in Jerusalem al-Quds.
Later on Friday, the four staff members were freed but were ordered to not work with Palestine TV or communicate with each other in the next 15 days.
They were also fined and handed a summons.
Palestine TV is a local broadcaster funded by the Palestinian Authority (PA). Israeli authorities routinely suppress any PA-supported or linked activity in occupied East Jerusalem.
Following the incidents, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the detention of the Palestine TV crews in Jerusalem, describing the arrests as a part of the Israeli government’s attempt to entrench Israeli control over the occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds and its holy sites.
He added that the latest violations would not have taken place without the American support for Israel, referring to the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds and President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of the occupying regime.
Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel in December 2017, promising to relocate the US diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to the city. The decision sparked outrage among Palestinians, who deem Jerusalem al-Quds as the future capital of a Palestinian state.
The Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation also denounced the raid, describing it as the latest crime committed against the Palestinian media.