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Middle East
Israel 'stops' West Bank radio
Pirate station shut down after its broadcasts delayed flights at Ben Gurion airport.
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2007 07:43 GMT
The pirate broadcasts disrupted flights at Israel's
Ben Gurion airport [GALLO/GETTY]

A pirate radio station in the West Bank, which had disrupted flights at Israel's Ben Gurion international airport, has been shut down, according to Israeli officials.
 
Israel's communications minister said on Thursday that the station had been shut down, easing disruptions at Ben Gurion airport and avoiding a threatened strike by airport workers.
Ariel Atias was quoted in Haaretz as saying: "We have stopped the operations of the pirate radio station in Ramallah in a way that is best not spoken about, and I will not provide any more details, but it is clear to everyone that this is not the way."
Broadcasts from the radio station had brought airport traffic at Ben Gurion to a standstill several times because of interference to control tower communications.
 
Airport staff had threatened to go on strike if the broadcasts were not stopped.
 
Airport authorities have said the problem occurs regularly but that traffic controllers can usually find alternate frequencies and rarely cancel flights.
 
But late on Wednesday, all takeoffs at the airport were canceled after the pirate broadcasts disrupted all the frequencies used by air traffic controllers, Uri Orlev, an airport official, told Army Radio.
 
The pirate broadcasts were a "clear danger" that "do not allow us to run the airport as we should," Orlev told Israel's Channel 2 TV and appealed to the government to put pirate radio stations out of business.
 
Haaretz reported on Thursday that Israel's Communications Ministry planned to tackle illegal radio stations by fining advertisers who use their broadcasts and thereby cut revenues to the stations.
Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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