Drazen Pantic on Thu, 4 Apr 2002 01:04:46 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> [dkuttab@ammannet.net: Al Quds Educational TV Closed by Israel Army]

----- Forwarded message from Daoud Kuttab <dkuttab@ammannet.net> -----

From: "Daoud Kuttab" <dkuttab@ammannet.net>
To: <fh@freedomhouse.org>
Cc: "Carol  Klinger" <CKlinger@npr.org>, "Khaled Abu Aker" <kabuaker@amin.org>,
Subject: Al Quds Educational TV Closed by Israel Army
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002 20:09:33 +0200

Press release for immediate distribution

For more details please call Ayman El  Bardawil 00 972 50 201221

Israeli Troops Close Al Quds Educational

Israeli troops effectively closed the only remaining local television
station in the Ramallah area Tuesday April 2 night thus depriving tens of
thousands of Palestinians with critical information.

Al Quds Educational TV, which is part of Al Quds University, stopped
broadcasting when Israeli soldiers arrested the two remaining staffers who
were manning the station and took over the entire four Medical Professions
building which houses medical labs in addition to the educational
television station.

The television station which was broadcasting key messages to the
population about health and safety issues was closed at 6:30pm when
Israeli troops held TV staffers Ahmad Abu Arra and Numan Kabaha at
gunpoint in the buildings basement for four hours before releasing them.
In the meantime soldiers took over the entire building. Daoud Kuttab,
founder and director of the Institute of Modern Media at Al Quds
University said that he is concerned that Israeli soldiers will ruin the
station's equipment thus preventing the station from being able to go back
on the air. "The record of Israeli soldiers in many other public and
private buildings leads us to worry that these soldiers might rampage
through the station." Kuttab also expressed anger at the Israeli army's
action which completely isolates the population of Ramallah by denying
them critical emergency information.

Contact had been lost with the two staffers who called the television
director informing him that the soldiers had arrived at the Medical
Professions Building which houses the educational television station. Four
hours later they were released but ordered to go home. Five tanks moved
into the parking lot and the entire building was occupied.

An angry viewer related that when he called the station to protest Israeli
soldiers answered the phone.

Professor Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al Quds University had instructed
the television staff to continue to broadcast the regular programs which
include children, health and public service announcements despite the
difficult situation. The station was also broadcasting television spots
prepared by UNICEF aimed at reassuring children in times of trauma.

Al Quds Educational Television which began broadcsating in 1996 had in
previous years produced and broadcast the Middle East version of Sesame
Street with messages of tolerance and mutual respect.

----- End forwarded message -----

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