Palestinian Government Launching TV Channel Aimed at Israeli Arabs

The Palestinian Authority, the governing body for Palestinians in the West Bank, is launching a new television station with programming designed specifically for Arab residents of Israel.

The station, dubbed F48, will feature cultural and social programming, but with a distinctly political slant. Its name is short for Falastine 1948 — the Arabic word for “Palestine” and the year of Israel’s founding, which Palestinians refer to as the “nakba” (catastrophe) as it marked the beginning of the displacement of the Palestinian people.

Israel’s 1.6 million Arabs are full citizens of the country, but most self-identify as Palestinians whose lives are split by dual loyalties. They rarely watch mainstream Israeli programming, which is in Hebrew and geared toward Jewish audiences. F48, which will launch on June 18 at the start of Ramadan, will be broadcast by Palsat, Palestinian satellite television.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the station will center its production in heavily-Arab parts of Israel, then transfer the footage to the PA-controlled West Bank city of Ramallah, where it will be broadcast by satellite into homes in Israel.

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