A politically-oriented children’s television program was withdrawn by the Al Aqsa TV station on Wednesday following a request by the Ministry of Information. The program has now been placed under review. The request was made by Minister of Information Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi who said that the program had adopted a ‘mistaken approach’ to the Palestinians’ legitimate struggle against the Occupation, adding that it was wrong to use programs directed at children to convey political messages.
At a meeting with members of the international press in Ramallah earlier today, Dr. Barghouthi pointed out that the Al Aqsa TV station had fully cooperated in suspending the program immediately.
He added that his ministry would continue to ensure freedom of expression and freedom of the press, but that media outlets breaking the law would be penalized by the ministry.
Dr. Barghouthi expressed surprise that some American television stations continue to cover the story when the issue has now been resolved, and when they have neglected to convey video footage on Israeli human rights violations released by the Ministry over the past six weeks, showing the savaging of a Palestinian women by an Israeli military dog; the use of Palestinian youths as human shields by Israeli soldiers; the beating of a Palestinian youth at an Israeli checkpoint near Nablus; and the violent repression by the Israeli military of a peaceful protest against the Apartheid Wall near Bethlehem.
The Minister called for objectivity not biased towards any side in media coverage of the conflict.