Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday inaugurated the new 10-story Palestine TV and radio headquarters in Ramallah and two new Palestinian satellite channels. The new building equipped with the latest in digital broadcasting equipment will replace an older one used by Palestine TV in Ramallah since 1995, and targeted by the Israeli military during an offensive in April 2002 in the West Bank.
Palestine TV and radio and the two new satellite channels “will deliver the voice of the Palestinian people to every corner of the world, particularly in this sensitive and difficult period,” Abbas said. One satellite channel will broadcast news in Arabic 24 hours a day around the world, Palestine TV and Radio Authority Chairman Riyad Hassan said. The channel will have offices throughout the Arab world.
The second channel, Palestine 48 – a reference to the Arabs in Israel -will focus on the situation and conditions of the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Israel since its creation in 1948. In addition, the Palestinian Authority launched 45-megawatt Palestine Sat (Palsat), a direct broadcast commercial service.
Abbas called on the Palestinian media to be objective in reporting the news. He said he supports freedom of expression as long as it is not used for incitement or infringes on the rights of other people. He chastised Israel for withholding more than 200 million dollars of Palestinian tax revenues over the last two months, which affected the ability of the Palestinian government to pay salaries for its 180,000 employees.
“This is a malicious act,” Abbas said.
Israel said the withholding of the money was in response to the Palestinians applying on January 1 to join The Hague-based International Criminal Court. SAPA