IDF combats terror over TV frequencies

Thursday, March 01, 2012 |  Ryan Jones

Palestinian television is fount of anti-Israel hate, but the Israeli army was forced to raid two "West Bank" TV stations on Wednesday for a different reason - they were disrupting communications at the nearby Ben Gurion International Airport.

In a pre-dawn, raid, Israeli soldiers and officials with Israel's Communications Ministry confiscated transmitters from the al-Watan and Jerusalem Educational TV stations in the de facto Palestinian capital of Ramallah.

The same two stations were raided in 2002 for the same reason.

Was it simply that they failed to learn their lesson from the first raid and switch frequencies? Or were the stations purposefully endangering incoming and departing flights at Ben Gurion Airport?

Either way, it made little difference to the Palestinian Authority leadership, which saw PR gold in the raid.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas squealed that the raid was a "flagrant assault on freedom of expression and media."

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad similarly ignored the reasons behind the operation, and quickly labeled it an "act of piracy."

In fact, current signed agreements between the two sides support Israel's position and actions in this case.

Article 36 of the Interim Agreement stipulates:

"Both sides shall refrain from any action that interferes with the communication and broadcasting systems and infrastructures of the other side. Specifically, the Palestinian side shall ensure that only those frequencies and channels specified...shall be used and that it shall not disturb or interfere with Israeli radio communication activity, and Israel shall ensure that there shall be no disturbance of or interference with the said frequencies and channels."

Al-Watan and Jerusalem Educational TV do not appear on the list of approved stations and frequencies.

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