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Premier Shtayyeh, other officials, condemn Israeli ban on Palestine TV in East Jerusalem al-Quds

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Key Palestinian officials, including Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, participate in a sit-in outside Palestine TV headquarters in the West Bank city Ramallah on June 15, 2021. (Photo by Wafa news agency)

Senior Palestinian officials, including Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, have held a sit-in to condemn constant Israeli violations against Palestinian and other journalists as well as the Tel Aviv regime's decision to close Palestine TV's office in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Tuesday gathering was held outside the headquarters of the Palestine TV in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority (PA), in the occupied West Bank, Palestine's official Wafa news agency reported. 

This new development came after Israeli authorities extended for several months an earlier decision to shut down Palestine TV’s office in East Jerusalem al-Quds and banned the network’s activities in the city and across the occupied territories.

Denouncing the repeated Israeli raids on media offices, Premier Shtayyeh stressed that the Palestinian government would support media outlets and journalists with all means on its disposal.

"The voice of Palestine TV is the voice of Jerusalem [al-Quds] and the voice of all of Palestine, and is the voice of freedom and national struggle. It is Israel that fights our geography and annexes our land systematically,” Shtayyeh was quoted as saying. 

"If reporting the truth is incitement, we will continue to report the truth, and if exposing the occupation and its practices is incitement, we and all free journalists in the world will continue to expose these Israeli practices."

He added that the sit-in is meant to send a message and challenge the Israeli occupation's decision.

Meanwhile,  Ahmad Assaf, who is the Palestinian Authority’s general-supervisor of the official media, said the decision by the Israeli occupying regime to ban the work of the Palestine TV  will not prevent it from continuing its work and the coverage across the occupied territories.

"The occupation is targeting Palestine TV not only in Jerusalem, but in all of the Palestinian cities,” the official said.

Assaf added, "We will remain by the side of our people in Jerusalem [al-Quds], and the Palestine TV camera will remain present in its mosques, churches, alleys, and streets. They [the Israelis] will not be able to hide this image and silence our voice."

International and regional journalists and media organizations have repeatedly called on the United Nations to immediately intervene and ensure the release of their Palestinian counterparts, currently held in Israeli detention centers.

They have also called on the international community to condemn Israel’s deliberate targeting of Palestinian journalists, and hold the regime legally accountable for crimes against media workers.

The destruction of the al-Jalaa building on May 15 during the 11-day offensive on the Gaza Strip was also widely regarded as a brazen attempt to silence journalists covering Israel’s military attacks. During its latest military onslaught against the Gaza Strip, Israel bombed the offices of at least 18 media outlets in less than a week.

According to Reporters Without Borders, at least 14 Palestinian journalists have been arrested and placed in administrative detention by Israeli forces in recent weeks.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Premier Shtayyeh voiced its determination to nullify the vicious agenda of far-right Israeli settlers, who staged a provocative parade known as “the march of the flags” in old city of Jerusalem al-Quds on Tuesday.

"We will face the 'flag march' that wants to undermine our national identity. They [the Israelis] believe that it will change the face of Jerusalem, but it will not change the face of this Palestinian city," he said. 

Israel has been desperately attempting to change demographic and the status quo in Jerusalem al-Quds. The Palestinian resistance groups have warned that another flare-up between the Palestinian factions and the Israeli regime will change the face of the region.

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