Hamas arrests 5 over Palestinian government media raid

A damaged studio at the offices of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Gaza City after a raid on January 4, 2019 (AFP Photo/Said KHATIB)

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip arrested five men Saturday over a raid at the Palestinian Authority's media headquarters, in which valuable equipment was destroyed.

Five armed men attacked the offices of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Gaza City on Friday, trashing equipment worth thousands of dollars.

The media centre is funded by the West Bank-based Palestinian government and houses Palestine TV and the Voice of Palestine radio station.

Staff and a PA official initially blamed the raid on Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, but the Islamist movement said disgruntled PA employees were responsible.

All five arrested are "employees of the Palestinian Authority whose salaries have been cut recently," the Hamas-run interior ministry in Gaza said.

"It turned out that one of them was a Palestine TV employee whose salary was cut last month."

Hamas seized control of Gaza from the PA in 2007, a year after winning parliamentary elections that were rejected by much of the international community.

Despite losing power in the enclave, the PA continues to pay tens of thousands of civil servants there.

But it has reduced salaries in recent years due to financial shortfalls, causing much ire among its employees.