Al-Jazeera’s Ramallah Office Reopens
The Ramallah office of the Qatari satellite television channel, al-Jazeera, reopened Friday, two days after Palestinian security forces shut it down, said the channel Saturday.
The channel said the reopening came after Palestinian President Yasser Arafat received members of the channel’s team and law maker Hanan Ashrawi.
The Palestinian Authority had closed al-Jazeera's office allegedly because it broadcast previews for a documentary on Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon that included a shot of an Arafat opponent dangling a shoe over a portrait of him, a sign of disrespect.
The Palestinians' action sought "to change the tone of a television program by resorting to force, something all free media reject," al-Jazeera said in a statement Wednesday.
The statement added: "Al-Jazeera will never under any circumstance stop covering the Palestinian cause."
Al-Jazeera, founded in 1996 shortly after Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani took power, has become immensely popular in the Arab world for its frank coverage of social and political issues – Albawaba.com
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