B’Tselem Loses Supreme Court Bid to Broadcast Names of Children Killed in Gaza

Justices rule that audio clip is of political nature and therefore the Broadcast Authority is authorized to reject it.

Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel
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The aunt (C) of Palestinian boy Mohammed Ayad, who medics said was killed during heavy Israeli shelling, mourns during his funeral in Gaza City July 21, 2014.
The aunt (C) of Palestinian boy Mohammed Ayad, who medics said was killed during heavy Israeli shelling, mourns during his funeral in Gaza City July 21, 2014.Credit: Reuters
Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by anti-occupation NGO B’Tselem against the Israel Broadcast Authority’s decision not to approve a broadcast of the names of Palestinian children killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. The justices decided that the broadcast in question is of a political nature, and goes beyond providing information free of context.

Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, joined by Justices Neal Hendel and Uri Shoham, decided that the broadcast pertained to political issues and that the Broadcast Authority is authorized to reject it.

“Reading the names of the children who died, even though the heart goes out to them, has a political objective, and is not for informative purposes only,” wrote Rubinstein. “The hidden objective of the broadcast, which is not difficult to see, is to get the public to make the government stop the IDF fighting in Gaza, due to the deaths of civilians there, particularly children. Continuing the fighting is politically controversial … and the broadcast is clearly not meant for informative purposes only.”

B’Tselem petitioned the court after the IBA refused to air the clip upon its original submission and after an appeal.

The clip said children have been killed in the fighting in Gaza and mentions a few of their names. The IBA said it was politically controversial and it does not allow clips of a political character.

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