Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan decided on Thursday to ban for six month Arab 48 TV which operates in Israel.
Erdan decided to shut down the TV channel, which changed its name after a previous ban, over claims that the TV undermines Israeli sovereignty.
In July 2015, the minister ordered the Palestine 48 channel to stop operating for six months, arguing the television station was not authorised for broadcasting in Israel. The station subsequently changed its name to Musawa Channel.
Erdan claimed that Musawa Channel’s content is produced in Nazareth, in northern Israel, and sent to the West Bank city of Ramallah for editing.
“I will not allow any harm to come to Israel’s sovereignty or give a foothold to the Palestinian Authority within the country,” Erdan, who claimed that the TV was sponsored by the Palestinian Authority, said.
Last year, Riad Hassan, the head of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, called the decision to close down Palestine 48 “illegal.
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Hassan said the station’s goal was “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.” He stressed that the channel “had no intention of violating Israel’s rule of law.”
The station aims to focus its broadcasts on the lives of Arabs living inside Israel. Sanaa Hamud, a member of a panel that counsels the channel, said the establishment of the station was a watershed moment in the history of Israel’s Arab population.