The four men worked for banned Hamas-affiliated al-Quds TV.IDF soldiers seen during overnight activity following Thursday's stabbing attack

Israeli security forces arrested four Palestinian journalists working for the Hamas-affiliated Al Quds TV station in Hebron overnight Monday, announced the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

The four men arrested in Ramallah were identified as Ala Rimawi, who runs the Al-Quds television station in the West Bank, and freelance journalists Mohammad Ulwan, Husni Injass and Qutaibah Hamdan.

During the joint operation, which was carried out by IDF troops from the Binyamin and Ephraim Regional Brigades together with the Shin Bet internal security agency, confiscated technical equipment, vehicles and personal computers during the raid.

The al-Quds channel, which first broadcast in October 2008 from Beirut and had channels in Ramallah and Jerusalem, was banned from operating in Israel earlier this month by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) and the Palestinian Ministry of Information both condemned the arrests and called for the United Nations to intervene in what they described as “a dangerous assault on freedom of expression, opinion and journalism.”

PJS described it as “piracy and a new assault on the Palestinian media,” PJS was quoted by Palestinian news agency Wafa as saying, adding that the arrests were “part of the ongoing war by the occupation on freedom of expression and the Palestinian narrative and an attempt to conceal the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian people.”

Wafa quoted the Ministry of Information as calling the arrests “a continuation of the open aggression on the guardians of truth and media outlets, as well as proof of Israel’s disrespect for international resolutions that guarantee freedom of journalistic work.”

The arrests, it added, “is part of Israeli attempts to terrorize journalists and to silence them.”

In a separate operation, security forces also launched a large-scale brigade operation against the Hamas student cell at the universities in Hebron, according to the statement.

Material that the IDF deemed incitement to terrorist activity were confiscated, and warnings were given to the families of students.

Security forces also arrested five Hamas members in Qalqilya for their involvement in promoting and inciting Hamas terror activity in recent months, the IDF said.

During the operations, violent riots broke out in three locations. The IDF responded with crowd dispersal means.

The army said that Israeli security forces ” will continue working against incitement to terrorism in order to prevent terrorism and to protect the security of residents.”

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