Gaza offices of Palestinian Authority media raided, trashed by armed men
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Gaza offices of Palestinian Authority media raided, trashed by armed men

PA official and staffers at Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation point finger at Hamas over break-in, during which several workers were also assaulted

An employee of the Palestinian Authority-run radio and television stations inspects the damage at one of the studios on January 4, 2019, after armed men reportedly raided the building in Gaza City. (Said Khatib/AFP)
An employee of the Palestinian Authority-run radio and television stations inspects the damage at one of the studios on January 4, 2019, after armed men reportedly raided the building in Gaza City. (Said Khatib/AFP)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — 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 organization is funded by the West Bank-based PA, which has a longstanding dispute with the Hamas terror group, 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.

An employee of the Palestinian Authority-run radio and television stations inspects the damage at one of the studios on January 4, 2019, after armed men reportedly raided the building in Gaza City. (Said Khatib/AFP)

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 behavior” and called for the perpetrators to be arrested.

Hamas seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority 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.

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