In Ramallah, Israeli forces raided the
offices of several news organizations and
one U.S. aid organization Monday, using
gunfire and explosives to enter the
buildings, according to eyewitnesses.
No one was injured, and Israeli military
officials said the searches were part of
their broader effort to find terrorists.
Israeli soldiers fired rounds of ammunition as they came up the
stairs into the offices at around 11:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m. EDT),
according to CNN producer Sausan Ghosheh, who was in the
building at the time. The soldiers said they had called out to warn
the employees by megaphone, but Ghosheh said no one heard it.
About 25 people were taken out one by one, escorted by an
armed Israeli soldier, into a room where they were instructed to sit
on the floor with their hands in the air. The Israelis confiscated all
mobile phones, Ghosheh said.
A few minutes later, they returned and allowed everyone to leave.
The phones were returned, and nothing was confiscated. They told
the journalists to make sure to inform Israeli authorities before
reporting a story.
The army then searched the downstairs offices of Abu Dhabi and
Nile TV, where the employees were mostly Palestinian. Ghosheh
said the Israeli forces shot open the door to one office and
ransacked the room.
The employees, according to Ghosheh, said they were forced onto
their knees with their hands over their heads, while the Israelis
searched their offices.
About an hour earlier, Israel forces "went on a rampage" at the
offices of the Middle East Broadcasting Centre (MBC), Arab News
Network (ANN) and the adjacent YMCA offices, according to MBC
Bureau Chief Nabil Khatib.
Khatib said the Israeli forces entered their offices by exploding the
doors open with no warning and ruined the building's elevator. They
also damaged four cars, including two television news vehicles,
The East Jerusalem YMCA released a statement Monday, saying the
Israeli army "blew up and destroyed the contents of the offices ...
the lift, the cars, the equipment and machines that are used for