High Court Extends Ban on Splitting Israel's New Public News Unit

Injunction comes as public broadcaster begins first day of operations

Staff at the new public broadcaster, Kan, April 15, 2017.
Moti Milrod

The High Court of Justice extended a temporary injunction on Monday barring the public broadcasting corporation Kan from spinning off its news division into a separate company as required by legislation passed by the Knesset last week.

The order came as Kan began its first day of broadcast, but it had little impact on operations. The journalists worked as they would have under Editor-in-Chief Baruch Shai. The appointment of a CEO for the news corporation is frozen until the court lifts the injunction, and no date was mentioned in Monday’s ruling.

At the behest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, lawmakers last week approved a last-minute amendment to the law forming the new public broadcast corporation, forcing it to split off its television news operations and Reshet Bet radio from the company producing all its other programming.

But lawmaker Eitan Cabel (Zionist Union) and Kan itself both went to court to challenge the amendment and won a preliminary injunction on Sunday.