Israel bans TV channel ‘Palestine 48’

PNN/Jerusalem

The Arab-Israeli Joint List party demanded today that Israeli minister of internal security Gilad Ardenne reverse the decision to ban broadcasting channel ‘Palestine 48’ in Israel. The decision was made on the grounds that they are working under the wing of the Palestinian Authority without written permission, and because it threatens the sovereignty of Israel.

In a press release, the Joint List condemned the decision to ban the channel, stressing that the Israeli policy of subduing dissenting or alternative voices in media and political institutions threatens the freedom of expressions of Palestinians in Israel.

The Joint List statement added that the decision also undermines the freedom of art and cultural production of Arab citizens, and the decision of the minister depends on laws that are not applicable to the West Bank, where the station is being broadcast.

Luba Simari, spokeswoman for the Israeli police, said Thursday evening that the Israeli Minister of Internal Security Gilad Ardenne signed a decree that prohibited any activity of a Palestinian media inside Israel. Ardenne justified the decision by saying:

“This channel will not be allowed to inflict any harm on Israel’s sovereignty or give the PA a foothold in any part of the state.”

Head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation Riad al-Hassan claims this decision is illegal since the program is broadcast from Ramallah and not by the Israeli authorities. Al-Hassan told ‘Wafa’ that production companies will most likely the issue with the Israeli Supreme Court on Sunday to try to reverse the decision.

The ban is valid for a period of six months from the date of signature, which was yesterday.

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