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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 03/17/2010, 00.00


    Palestinian Authority shuts down the only Christian TV broadcaster in the Territories

    After 14 years on the air, the government shuts down the only Palestinian Christian TV station. Located about 350 metres from Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, the station broadcast shows with social, religious, economic and cultural content. Its general manager tells AsiaNews the order is unfair, stressing the high regard in which viewers held the station.
    Bethlehem (AsiaNews) – The Palestinian National Authority has shut down Al-Mahed “Nativity” TV for operating without a licence. Samir Qumsieh, owner and general manager of the Christian broadcaster, slammed the decision. After 14 years on the air and despite a long list of “thank you letters” by grateful viewers, Palestinian police raided the broadcaster’s offices yesterday at 2 pm. Waving an order by the Interior Ministry, they put the station off the air.

    Contacted by AsiaNews, Mr Qumsieh said he was baffled by the order, which for him was “unjustified”.

    Located on high ground at about 350 metres from the Church of Nativity, in Bethlehem, Al-Mahed “Nativity” TV was for years the “only Christian voice” among Palestinian media.

    It broadcast programmes in all sorts of domains, from education to the environment, from politics to local culture and society, as well as programmes with a religious content: masses, prayers and the most important celebrations on the liturgical calendar. Its audience was not limited to Christians but included Muslims as well.

    According to unconfirmed reports that reached AsiaNews, the closure appears to be financially motivated. Palestinian authorities demanded money, a “licence” that was not paid.

    In a letter addressed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Mr Qumsieh slammed the unjustified closure of the Christian TV station because of the “lack of a licence”.

    He said that 14 years of broadcasting earned the station the gratitude of viewers as demonstrated by the many thank you letters and e-mails, worthy of a “Guinness world record”.

    In his letter to the authorities, he said that he “would not beg” to have the station re-opened. The “ingratitude” shown to him is “unacceptable by any religion, logic or conscience”.

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    See also

    18/12/2009 PALESTINE
    Palestinians “disgusted” and “disappointed” by bickering between Hamas and Fatah
    For journalist Samir Qumsieh, “no one knows where we are going” and “every day many things happen but nothing changes.” We seem to be “in a blind alley.” The Christian community suffers the most from this paralysis.

    22/08/2006 PALESTINE
    Molotov cocktail against Christian activist's home in Bethlehem
    Samir Qumsieh, owner and director of the only private Christian Tv in Palestine, is the victim. For some time now, he has been receiving threats and has been the object of intimidation. Yet his appeals to the authorities have fallen on deaf ears.

    09/11/2005 VATICAN – HOLY LAND
    Christian activist and Muslim painter from Bethlehem meet the Pope
    In today's general audience the two Palestinians offered Benedict XVI gifts that are "symbols of the brotherhood of the two communities in the Holy Land".

    18/06/2009 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
    Netanyahu's words only serve Hamas extremism
    For Samir Qumsieh, director of Al-Mahed TV, Netanyahu’s speech “marks the end of the honey moon between the United States and Israel” and a “step backwards compared to what the Pope had to say in the Holy Land”. Victor Batarseh, Bethlehem Mayor, adds that “Netanyahu’s message is a carrot to the US and Europe and a stick to Palestinians”.

    27/12/2010 ISRAEL – PALESTINE
    Record number of pilgrims visits Bethlehem as thousands throng Manger Square for Mass
    Israeli authorities say some 100,000 visitors took part in Christmas festivities this year, twice as many as last year. This was the merriest Christmas in the past ten years, since 28 September 2000 that is when the second intifada broke out. The area’s economy is also picking up steam.

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