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Islamic Jihad TV station chief detained in raid by Israeli troops

Published 11/03/2016

Israeli forces have been cracking down on months of violence
Israeli forces have been cracking down on months of violence

Israeli forces have raided a TV station run by the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in the West Bank as part of a crackdown on violence Israel says has been fuelled by incitement in the Palestinian media.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the head of Falestine al-Youm - or Palestine Today - was detained in the raid in Ramallah. She said Farouq Elayan, 34, had been incarcerated in the past for activities in the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad group.

The outlet, which also publishes material on social media sites, encouraged Palestinians to attack Israelis, she said.

In a statement, Falestine al-Youm said two other staff members were also arrested and their equipment was confiscated. Islamic Jihad has carried out suicide bombings and shootings in the past.

Ms Samri said shutting the station was part of efforts to stop incitement to violence.

The raid came as Israel struggles to contain near-daily Palestinian assaults on civilians and security forces that have killed 28 Israelis and two Americans since September.

At least 179 Palestinians have died by Israeli fire in that time, the majority of them said by Israel to have been attackers while the rest died in clashes with Israeli forces.

On Friday afternoon, a Palestinian attacker stabbed and wounded a 29-year-old Israeli man, before running away in Jerusalem's Old City, police said. Officers later displayed a picture of a weapon left at the scene, a kitchen knife with a white handle. The Palestinian attacker was found and arrested after a short chase, police said.

Israel has long pointed to the glorification of attackers in Palestinian media and social networking sites as a major factor in the recent bloodshed.

Palestinians say it stems from anger at nearly five decades of Israeli rule in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and frustration at not achieving statehood.

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From Belfast Telegraph