Hamas blamed for raid on Palestine state media headquarters
GAZA CITY - Armed men raided the headquarters of Palestinian Authority media in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Friday, station staff said, causing damage to equipment.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incident, though the staff and a PA official said they held Hamas responsible.
Five armed men entered the offices of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Gaza City, official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
The organisation is funded by the West Bank-based Palestinian government, which has a longstanding dispute with the Islamist Hamas movement, and the building houses offices for Palestine TV and the Voice of Palestine radio station.
During the raid workers were assaulted and equipment destroyed, WAFA reported.
“At least five people broke into the building, broke the radio door and completely destroyed the main studio, including cameras, equipment, furniture and broadcasting equipment,” a staffer at the radio station said.
AFP correspondents at the scene found a number of video cameras and computers badly damaged, with chairs and doors destroyed.
“We hold the Hamas authorities fully responsible for this crime of breaking into the headquarters and destroying them,” Ahmed Assaf, the PA general supervisor for official media said in a statement.
“This is an attack against our people in Gaza,” he added.
Salameh Maarouf, director of the Hamas-run media office, said in a statement it condemned the “unacceptable behaviour” and called for the perpetrators to be arrested.
Hamas seized control of Gaza from the West Bank-based government in a 2007 near civil war, and multiple attempts at reconciliation have failed.
Palestine TV stopped working completely following the 2007 seizure, resuming work partially in 2011.