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[] The Committee to Protect Journalists: Two television stations and one radio station closed in Hebron,

ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES: Two television stations and one 
radio station closed in Hebron

New York, January 31, 2003-The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is 
alarmed by Israel's closure of two local television stations and a radio 
station in the West Bank town of Hebron during an incursion into the 
West Bank.

On January 30, about 25 Israeli troops entered the building housing the 
private Al-Nawras TV and Al-Marah Radio, and informed the employees that 
they were closing the two stations by order of the regional military 
commander. The sources told CPJ that no reason for the closure was 
provided. The soldiers allowed the staff to collect their personal 
belongings before sealing the doors of the offices and the building 
shut. Nothing was taken or damaged in the process, the sources said, 
adding that the stations programs focus mostly on entertainment.

In a separate incident, troops shuttered the private Al-Majd TV, also in 
Hebron, a few hours later. Sultan Al-Tamimi, an employee at Al-Majd, 
told CPJ that the soldiers, who came to the station, threw things around 
the office, damaging a scanner and a computer screen, as well as 
breaking a glass tabletop. Al-Tamimi said that the soldiers blindfolded 
and handcuffed him and a colleague and asked if they had contacts with 
the militant organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The soldiers left 
with disks and CD-roms. Both station employees were eventually released.

An IDF spokesman told CPJ, that the stations were suspected of 
supporting the "incitement" of terrorism. He added that they would 
examine the possibility of reopening the stations "in the nearest future."

"Closing down media outlets is censorship," said CPJ acting director 
Joel Simon. "We call on Israeli authorities to allow these three 
stations to reopen immediately."

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