RAMALLAH, June 18, 2015 (WAFA) – Chairman of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation’s Board of Trustees Riyad Al-Hassan stated Thursday that he would appeal the Israeli decision to shut a new Arab TV Satellite Channel specifically targeting the Palestinian audience in Israel.
Speaking to the Palestinian News and Information Agency (WAFA), al-Hassan slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to shut Falastine 1984 as ‘illegal’ and noted that the administration of the new TV station will pursue all legal means to annul the Israeli decision.
He added that the new channel has purchased all services from licensed corporations and is working with human rights groups and legal advisors to appeal the Israeli decision.
Israeli media reported that Netanyahu, acting in his capacity as the minister of communications, has instructed the head of the Communication Ministry, Shlomo Filber, to work on shutting down the Satellite channel.
Netanyahu reportedly instructed Filber to “investigate the station’s legality, particularly its funding from the Palestinian Authority while operating out in Israel.”
Netanyahu arrived at this decision following a news conference inaugurating the Arabic-language Falastine 48 in Nazareth. The inauguration ceremony was attended by al-Hassan together with a host of other Palestinian Israeli members of Knesset, writers and media personalities.
Al-Hassan reportedly said during the ceremony that Netanyahu and “his extremist right-wing government” couldn’t shut Palestine 48 down, published Israeli media.
“The goal is to give a stage to the Arabs of ’48 so that they can expose to the Arab world everything they must go through, regarding their social, cultural and economic difficulties,” al-Hassan was quoted as saying during the ceremony.
“The Palestinian Authority headed by Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] will support this station. We are even seriously considering establishing a channel that will broadcast live from inside the Green Line. There is no intention to violate Israel’s rule of law,” he added.
The new TV station, officially launched Thursday, will broadcast as part of the package offered by Palestinian satellite television.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Journalists Association slammed Netanyahu’s decision as another attack against freedom of journalism and Palestinian media’s right to operate everywhere.
It also slammed it as being racist, which aims to deny Palestinians their rights to voice their positions and discuss the issues that concern them in the language and style they prefer.
The association called on the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and UNESCO, entrusted by the UN with safeguarding the freedom of opinion and expression worldwide, to take reprisals in response to Netanyahu’s decision which violates the basics of journalism as well as the UN Security Council’s resolution 2222.