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Israel orders shutdown of Israeli-Palestinian radio station

Officials and the station’s operators said the move was politically motivated and part of a broader assault on democracy.

Broadcaster Eyal Raz, right, and technician Nasser Abu Hadwan, left, work in the studio of the
Broadcaster Eyal Raz, right, and technician Nasser Abu Hadwan, left, work in the studio of the "All for Peace" radio station in east Jerusalem on Sunday
Image: Sebastian Scheiner/AP/Press Association Images

ISRAEL HAS ORDERED the shutdown of a dovish Israeli-Palestinian radio station, officials and the station’s operators said on Sunday.

The station and other critics said the move was politically motivated, and part of an assault on democracy by conservative forces in the government.

Some members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition have pushed forward a series of measures recently that critics say are aimed at stifling opponents.

Among the proposed legislation are lowering the threshold for politicians to file libel suits against the media, and a push to shift control of Supreme Court appointments from an independent panel to parliament.

The Washington Post reports that bills that would cut foreign funding for dovish Israeli groups have been put on hold.

It says that the move comes after objections by some Cabinet ministers, foreign governments and the country’s attorney general.

If the bills were approved, donations would be limited to 20,000 shekels, or $5,200 a year.

Conservative lawmaker Danny Danon, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, claimed the Communications Ministry shuttered the station at his request, after he claimed it “incited” against Israel.

Operators of “All For Peace” radio said they complied with a shut-down order issued last week.

Israel’s communications ministry confirmed it issued the order.

Mossi Raz, the Israeli director of the station, said that it transmits from the West Bank where it is not subject to Israeli law.

He said the station, which has been operating since 2004, would go to court in Israel to try to get back on the air.

Raz also said the ministry had never questioned the legality of the station’s operations in the past.

On Sunday, an official in Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister opposed a bill that would allow lawmakers to veto Supreme Court appointments.

Conservatives say the court has a liberal bias.

- Additional reporting by AP

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