The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Thursday launched a television channel called Palestine 48, which will broadcast in Israel via satellite. The target audience for the channel is Israel’s Arab minority, which makes up approximately 20 percent of the Jewish state’s population.
Upon learning of the launch, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu instructed the Israeli Communications Ministry, which he currently heads, to look into possible criminal and administrative measures to prevent the channel from broadcasting.
The order came hours after the channel held a press conference in Nazareth for the official launch. Palestinian Communications Minister Riad Hassan said that “neither Netanyahu nor his extreme right-wing government will succeed in shutting down the station.”
The Israeli Communications Ministry plans to investigate the legality of the channel’s PA funding, among other things.
“We will provide a platform for the other side as well, to right-wingers and ministers in the government,” Hassan said. “The objective is to provide a platform for the Arabs of 1948 so that they can reveal to the entire Arab world everything that they go through in terms of cultural, social, and financial challenges. … We have no intention of undermining the rule of law in the State of Israel.”
The PA’s official broadcaster in the disputed territories, PA TV, has been known for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic programming, a trend that is regularly documented by Palestinian Media Watch.