Israeli forces shut Palestinian Islamic Jihad station

By IAN DEITCH - Associated Press 12 March 2016, 12:00AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian attackers opened fire at Israeli troops in the West Bank and wounded two soldiers before fleeing Friday night, the Israeli military said. Soon afterward, Palestinian gunmen in Gaza fired several rockets at southern Israel, causing no injuries.

The attacks followed a morning raid by Israeli forces of a TV station run by the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in the West Bank as part of a crackdown to curb months of violence that Israel says has been fueled by incitement in the Palestinian media.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the head of the Falestine al-Youm — or "Palestine Today" — was detained in the raid in Ramallah early Friday morning. She said Farouq Elayan, 34, had been incarcerated in the past for activities in the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad group. The outlet, which also publishes material on social media sites, encouraged Palestinians to attack Israelis, she said.

In a statement, Falestine al-Youm said two other two staff members had also been arrested and that their equipment was confiscated. Islamic Jihad has carried out suicide bombings and shootings in the past.

Israel faces near-daily Palestinian assaults on civilians and security forces that have killed 28 Israelis and two Americans since September.

At least 179 Palestinians have died by Israeli fire in that time, the majority of them said by Israel to have been attackers while the rest died in clashes with Israeli forces.

Israel has long pointed to the glorification of attackers in Palestinian media and social networking sites as a major factor in the recent bloodshed.

Palestinians say it stems from anger at nearly five decades of Israeli rule in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and frustrations at not achieving statehood.

On Friday afternoon, a Palestinian attacker stabbed and wounded a 29-year-old Israeli man, before running ran away in Jerusalem's Old City, police said. It later displayed a picture of the weapon used, a kitchen knife with a white handle that had been left at the scene. The Palestinian attacker was found and arrested after a short chase, police said.

By IAN DEITCH - Associated Press 12 March 2016, 12:00AM
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