Israel Detains Palestinian Television Employees After Banning Its Operations

20 detained in overnight raid, including four workers of Al-Quds, which Israel declared a terrorist organization earlier this month. Students from Hebron university, members of Hamas student group, detained as well

File photo, IDF soldiers in an overnight operation in the West Bank.
IDF Spokesperson's Office

Israeli security forces detained four Palestinian employees of al-Quds television channel, considered to be affiliated with Hamas, and which Israel outlawed in early July.

In total, Israel detained 20 Palestinians overnight in a widespread operation, the military said, including students from Hebron University who are members of the Hamas student group.

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The Israeli military said the 20 were detained on suspicion of "involvement in terror activity, popular terrorism and violent disturbances against civilians and security forces." The suspects have been transferred for investigation, the army said.

Israel confiscated al-Quds television's broadcast equipment and a vehicle Sunday night.  

Earlier this month, Israel signed a warrant defining Palestinian television channel Al-Quds a terrorist organization and prohibiting its operations in Israel.

The channel, which first went live in October 2008 and broadcasts from Beirut, has offices in the Gaza Strip as well as in Ramallah and Jerusalem. 

Al-Quds television makes use of local companies to produce content. Owners, journalists and photojournalists of a production company which collaborates with Al-Quds and is based in the Arab-majority northern Israeli city of Umm Al-Fahm were summoned several days after Israel signed the warrant for questioning. They were also warned against continuing any work with the channel.

The military and Shin Bet also operated Sunday night against the Hamas student group at Hebron University, known as al-Kutla al-Islamiya. The military said the group incites to terror, and that it confiscated incitement materials and warned the families of students who participate in the group.

In addition, five of those detained are Hamas members in the city of Qalqilyah, the army reported.

According to the Israeli military, clashes erupted in three areas as a response to the overnight operation in which these detentions took place.