Amidst the waves of raids and attacks launched on hundreds of Palestinian homes, charities and universities by Israeli occupation forces in recent weeks was an early morning break-in at the offices of the popular Jerusalem English-language magazine This Week in Palestine.
The raid also targeted Turbo’s sister company, Jeel Publishing, which produces the Arabic literary journal Filistin Ashabab.
On 22 June, Israeli occupation forces raided the premises of This Week in Palestine publisher Turbo Computers & Software Ltd., confiscating seven computers, including servers, and “severely hampering the companies’ operating capacity,” according to a company press release.
“During our 28-year history, we have had no affiliation with any political faction,” Sani Meo, general manager of This Week in Palestine was quoted in the press release as saying.
“As private-sector companies, we deplore such an action which not only clearly violates our personal rights, including freedom of expression, but also jeopardizes the livelihood of our employees,” he added.
Meo also suggested that the raid was “a message to our readers that they might be deprived of access to these two independent Palestinian publications.”
He insisted that both Turbo and Jeel were “totally transparent” companies whose data posed no security threat.
The company is determined not to allow Israel to disrupt its work. Today, Meo posted a message on his Facebook page: “I’m particularly pleased to inform you that the July 2014 issue of This Week in Palestine is online.”
“It goes on!” he added.
Literary journal raided
Occupation forces also took the computers, servers and archives of Filistin Ashabab, the website alhyat.com reported.
“The occupation fights against any soul in the country who resists in any sphere: cultural, political or military,” Filistin Ashabab editor, the Palestinian writer and poet Tariq Hamdan, said.
“The occupation wants institutions and media that are submissive. Anyone who does not submit, whether a politician, a cultural worker or a journalist, is a target of the occupation,” he added.
Hamdan insisted that the best response to the attack would be to continue to publish the magazine, which was founded in 2007 and provides a forum for poetry, essays and photography.
As with many of the other raids carried out over recent weeks, the main motive behind the searches and confiscation of materials is likely a combination of economic sabotage, disruption of Palestinian civil society and intelligence gathering, rather than any legitimate security concerns.
Under the pretext of searching for three Israeli youths who went missing in the occupied West Bank on 12 June, Israel has arrested more than 500 Palestinians during its broad crackdown.