Hundreds of journalists joined a march and protest rally organized by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) on Thursday, November 21, against the decision by Israeli authorities to shut down the television offices of Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) in Jerusalem.
The offices of PBC Television, a channel funded by the Palestinian Authority, received orders to close and stop its activity for six months and the director of the Al-Araz production company that hosts the station was arrested, but later released, and a media worker was summoned for questioning.
Israeli authorities justified the shutdown accusing Palestinian television of producing anti-Israeli content in which the latter is presented as being “responsible for war crimes and ethnic cleansing.” The PJS, along with other Palestinian bodies, condemned the closing the television station’s offices in Jerusalem.
General Secretary of the PJS, Nasser Abu Baker, addressed the protesters, saying: “We are here today to express our full solidarity with PBC workers and to condemn the Israeli decision. Journalists will never be deterred and will continue to carry out our mission of reporting and telling the truth.”
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) had announced that it stands in solidarity with its Palestinian affiliate and urged the Israeli authorities to reverse their decision and stop repressing Palestinian media. General Secretary of the IFJ, Anthony Bellanger, told those gathered: “The Israeli authorities must reverse their decision and allow Palestinian media and journalists to work freely in Jerusalem. Israeli policies towards Palestinian media and journalists continue to be the main obstacle for the development of press freedom and independent journalism in Palestine.”