Quite by accident, I saw this satellite channel for the first time at the home of a family in Ramallah who were surfing the airwaves for news, on the night that we were all waiting to learn if it was true that an agreementhad been reached by Palestinian prisoners to end their collective hunger strike [and also the individual hunger strike actions that had been going on, in two cases, for over 77 days].
“What’s that?”, I asked, surprised by what I saw on the TV. “We don’t know”. the Ramallah family I was visiting answered, “we just found it now”.
It had video footage of Palestinian prisoners walking around in the cell yards of Israeli prisons, and it had marquis running headlines with the latest updates — “head of Palestinian prisoners club confirms agreement has been reached”, for example.
Only tonight, I learned what it is: “The Palestine Prisoner Channel, which began broadcasting a month ago, features news coverage including reports and interviews with Palestinian prisoners on their status and condition in Israeli jails”.
How does it do that? This is still completely unclear.
The identity of this station became clear in an announcement by the Committee to Protect Journalists [CPJ], published here, which criticizes a recent Israeli Army raid on the station, the confiscation of its equipment, and the detention of the station’s general director, Bahaa Khairi Moussa, at his home in Jenin last Thursday [May 17].
The CPJ announcement added that despite the raid, confiscation, and arrest of the station director, the Palestine Prisoner Channel is still on the air.