U.K. Broadcasters to Air Gaza Fund-raising Appeal on Friday

The BBC and Sky refused to air a similar appeal in 2009 on the grounds that it could compromise their impartiality.

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Food aid shipment to Gaza
Food aid shipment to GazaCredit: AP

The BBC and other British broadcasters have agreed to air an emergency fund-raising appeal for people affected by the conflict in Gaza.

The appeal, organized by the Disasters Emergency Committee, is expected to be broadcast on the various channels on Friday.

Also participating in the appeal will be BBC Radio, Sky News, ITV, Radio Four and Channel Five.

The BBC and Sky declined to broadcast a similar DEC Gaza appeal following the Cast Lead operation in 2009. The move was widely criticized.

At the time, the BBC said it did not show the appeal "because of question marks about the delivery of aid in a volatile situation and also to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC's impartiality."

The public broadcaster agreed to support the current campaign on the grounds that "The humanitarian need in Gaza has been widely acknowledged, including by the Israeli government, and the DEC has given assurances that aid can reach those who need it.

"The BBC will continue to report impartially in our coverage of the story in the Middle East," it said in a statement.

Brendan Paddy, head of communications at the DEC, said: “We’ve made the case to all broadcasters that our appeal criteria had been met and all have agreed and have said they will carry the appeal.”

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