RAMALLAH - Agence France-Presse
Israeli soldiers fire tear gas toward Palestinian stone-throwers, not pictured, during clashes in the West Bank town of Al-Ram, near Jerusalem, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012.(AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Israeli troops raided two Palestinian television stations in the West Bank city of Ramallah overnight, seizing computers and broadcasting equipment, employees told AFP on today.
The two stations affected were Watan Television, a local private station, and Quds Educational Television, affiliated with the Palestinian Al-Quds University.
"They came at 2 am (0000 GMT) and took around 30 computers and all the transmitters. The station is totally shut down," Watan's editor in chief Ali Daraghmeh said.
Haroun Abu Arra, director of Quds Educational TV, said troops raided his station shortly afterwards.
"At 3:00 am (0100 GMT), the Israeli army entered the television station's office and took all the transmitters, and the station is now unable to broadcast," he said.
The Israeli army had no immediate comment on the reported raids, and it was unclear what prompted them. No arrests were made, employees said.
"One of our guards tried to stop the army, but they told him they had official orders to close the station," Daraghmeh said.
Orabi said: "It was a surprise. We still don't know why they confiscated the equipment and shut down the station, even though we work in areas belonging to the Palestinian Authority and we have a licence from them." Journalists said they would hold a demonstration in Ramallah's central square later on Wednesday to protest against the raid.