Channel 2 franchise operator Keshet was the big winner at Friday's annual Israeli television awards. It claimed 12 awards, including best drama series for "The 'A' Team" and best comedy series for "Arab Work."

Cable broadcaster HOT left the Tel Aviv ceremony with three awards, while rival satellite multichannel provider Yes and Channel 10 each received two apiece. Reshet, the other Channel 2 franchise operator, went home empty-handed.

This year's Israeli Academy of Film and Television TV awards ceremony was a modest affair, due to the absence of sponsorship from broadcasting organizations. The consequent absence of television cameras may have helped participants to shed their inhibitions and speak out against the closure of Channel 10 and other politically-tinged industry developments.

In accepting his prize for best culture and entertainment magazine program, Guy Pines asked the audience, "How can we sit in silence at the academy and see a television channel close down?" The acting head of Channel 10's news division, who accepted the prize for best investigative and current events program on behalf of the "Hamekor" team, added: "We're working hard for it not to happen, but the day is coming when we will need your solidarity."

Two Keshet productions, the second season of "Avoda Aravit" ("Arab Work" ) and the drama "Pilpelim Tzehubim" ("The 'A' Word" ), topped the awards list. "Arab Work" won prizes for best comedy and best comedy screenplay, while Clara Khoury was voted best actress in a comedy. "The 'A' Word" won the awards for best drama, best direction and best screenplay, while Alma Zack and Yossi Marshek were awarded the prizes for best actress and actor, respectively, in a drama.

Keshet also scooped up prizes for the Israeli versions of game show "Cash Cab" and reality show "Big Brother," as well as best entertainment program ("Eretz Nehederet" ) and best docu-entertainment ("Ma Ze Ha-Shtuyot Ha-Ele" ).

Four cable TV productions won category awards - Channel 8's "Hayanshufim" was named best talk show; "Hasamba Third Generation" best children's/teen program; "Nevelot" was best miniseries/single-episode drama; and best documentary series went to "Mehubarim."

Eitan Tzur was awarded the prize for best direction of a comedy for "Hamisrad," the local version of "The Office," broadcast by satellite, while lead actor Dvir Benedek won for best actor in a comedy.