HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Tuesday morning stormed the offices of a Palestinian radio station in Hebron, where they destroyed equipment and ordered the station's closure, in the latest violation of press freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Manbar al-Hurriyya (Freedom Tribune) radio station, which is reportedly affiliated with Fatah, wrote on its website that Israeli forces had destroyed equipment inside the offices and confiscated other equipment.
The soldiers then issued a military order notifying employees that the station was to be closed and its broadcast banned.
The Israeli army said in a statement that the station was shut down "as part of the ongoing battle against incitement."
It continued: "Forces confiscated broadcasting equipment in order to prevent the incitement which has caused a flare of violence in the region over recent weeks."
It accused the radio station of encouraging "stabbing attacks" and "violent riots," and reporting "false and malicious claims of security forces executing and kidnapping Palestinians in order to provoke violence."
The statement said that Israeli forces had shut down the station twice before, in 2002 and again in 2008.
The incident comes a day after a Palestinian press freedoms watchdog condemned more than 450 violations of media freedoms since the beginning of the year.
The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms, known as MADA, said in a statement that it "condemns the ongoing violence against Palestinian journalists by the Israeli Occupying Forces," including more than 100 violations in October alone.
It said that "continued impunity with lack of accountability" encouraged Israeli forces "to commit more crimes and assaults."
The watchdog said that while press violations had not reached last year's proportions, when 17 Palestinian journalists were killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, violations had "witnessed an enormous escalation this year."
The group called for accountability, but also for "preventing censorship and persecution of journalists and activists regarding their opinions and comments on social media."