Israel Orders Closure of PA-funded Television Channel

PA-funded television channel, Musawa, banned by Israel for six months. (Photo: via Ma'an)

Israel’s Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan, issued an order today, banning Musawa, a Palestine Authority-funded television channel, for six months. Erdan claimed the channel represents an affront to Israel’s sovereignty, Ma’an reported.

The television channel was initially named 1948, referred to the year that Israel was established, when more than 750,000 Palestinians were violently displaced from their villages, during the “Nakba,” or “Catastrophe.”

Riad Hassan, the PA communications minister, said at the time that the PA would not cease their operations “even if it does not please the government of settlers that Netanyahu leads. We want to present a platform for Israeli Arabs to introduce themselves to the Arab world, to show them their culture and the difficulties they face”.

The channel was shut down by the Israeli government last year after which their name was changed to Musawa, and broadcasting was resumed, according to Israeli media.

Although the show is edited in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, it is recorded in Nazareth, leading Israeli authorities to crackdown on the channel for allegedly lacking proper permission for foreign entities to operate in Israel.

The Times of Israel reported Erdan as saying, “I will not allow any harm to come to Israel’s sovereignty or give a foothold to the PA within the country”.

Last year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initiated an investigation into the legality of the channel’s operations, as the Israeli government accused the channel of disseminating propaganda to enhance “Palestinian identity”.


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