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Oct 18, 3:43 AM EDT

Israeli army arrests 2 Palestinians, shuts 8 media companies

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- The Israeli military has arrested two Palestinians and closed eight media production companies in the West Bank for six months on suspicion of incitement to violence.

Wednesday's army statement says the companies were shut because they promoted "violence and terrorism against Israelis" and provided information to Palestinian media outlets belonging to the militant Hamas group.

It says the two arrested are employees of the shuttered outlets. Equipment and documents were also seized in the overnight raid, which comes as part of Israel's crackdown on alleged incitement to violence by Palestinian figures and organizations.

Palestinian deputy information minister, Mahmoud Khalefeh, called the closures "a stark violation of the freedom of press in Palestine" that he said was aimed at preventing them "from reporting the Israelis daily violation of human rights."

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