RAMALLAH, West Bank (CNN) -- Israeli soldiers blew up the building housing the headquarters of the Voice of Palestine radio service and some Palestinian television studio facilities early Saturday, eyewitnesses said.
The Israeli army surrounded the building around 4 a.m. Saturday (9 p.m. Friday EST), evacuated it and then blew it up about an hour later. Eyewitnesses said the Israelis put dynamite in the studios and gasoline on the roof, where the transmitters were. The Israeli military usually flattens structures with bulldozers.
The action marked Israel's latest effort to step up pressure on the Palestinian Authority after a Palestinian gunman killed six Israelis Thursday night at a bat mitzvah in Hadera, a coastal city in western Israel.
The broadcast center's top three floors were destroyed, and hours later smoke still emanated from the building, which was surrounded by Israeli tanks. Broadcasting employees tried to salvage equipment from the building's first floor Saturday morning.
Israel Defense Forces released a statement saying the action was in response to the Hadera attack.
"The force confiscated part of the equipment and blew up the building," the statement said. "At the end of the operation the forces left the area, back to Israeli-controlled territory. There [were] no casualties caused by the operation."
Israel has said that the Palestinian Authority uses radio and TV outlets to incite Palestinians against Israelis, but the head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corp. accused Israel of trying to silence them.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat appealed Saturday to Europeans and Americans to help end the escalation of violence this week, starting with the death of Fatah leader Raed al-Karmi in an explosion Monday.
"It's important to act quickly to save the situation in this area, to go back together to create peace," Arafat said. "The situation is critical, and the Israelis have crossed all the red lines."
On Friday, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, identified the Hadera attacker as Abed Hassouneh of Nablus. Police killed him as guests at the bat mitzvah pushed him out into the street while he was firing his weapon.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has called for renewed attacks on Israel in retaliation for the death this week of popular Fatah leader Raed Karmi and the arrest of Ahmad Sa'adat, secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Israeli authorities have accused Karmi of being involved in the deaths of 10 Israelis, including the killings of two Tel Aviv restaurateurs last year for which Karmi claimed responsibility. Al Aqsa said that Karmi was the victim of an assassination. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied involvement in Karmi's death.
The Palestinian Authority said it arrested Sa'adat, whom the Israelis have blamed in the planning of the assassination of an Israeli Cabinet member in November.
In related events, Israeli tanks and armored carriers Friday rolled within 150 feet of Palestinian Authority's headquarters in Ramallah. Saturday night, Israeli and Palestinians exchanged gunfire near the site. Also on Friday, Israeli F-16 fighters blasted the compound of the city's Palestinian governor, killing a policeman, Palestinian sources said
To the north, about 80 Israeli tanks edged closer Saturday to the West Bank city of Tulkarem.