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Israel stops Israeli-Palestinian radio station broadcasts

Saturday 19 Nov 2011
The Israeli Communications Ministry has ordered the closure of the radio station Kol Hashalom (All for Peace), Haaretz reports.

Kol Hashalom

The station is based in occupied East Jerusalem and broadcasting from Ramallah in the West Bank. It is accused of not having the necessary licences to broadcast and of “inciting hatred towards Israel”.

Kol Hashalom’s operators claim that their offices, which are located in the Palestinian Authority areas, are not subject to Israeli law, but Palestinian law.

Kol Hashalom has been broadcasting for the past seven years, using an operating licence from the Palestinian Communications Ministry. It has been broadcasting programmes in Hebrew and Arabic, encouraging peace initiatives and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

The station’s operators claim they were never asked to stop broadcasting nor to acquire an Israeli license. On 4 November, they received a notice asking them to stop broadcasting.

Station Manager Mossi Raz was called into a police station on Thursday. He was asked to give orders to end broadcasts or face remand and a police raid on the station’s offices.

Mr Raz gave instructions by telephone to end broadcasts. The station managers plan to turn to the courts to overturn the ministry’s decision.

“If someone came to the conclusion that this isn’t legal, then after seven years there are different ways to go about it,” Mr Raz said.

Member of the Knesset (parliament) Danny Danon had recently turned to the Attorney General, demanding that the station be shut down, claiming that it is broadcasting incitement.