Al Jazeera admits it violated its code of ethics
Arabic television station Al Jazeera said on Thursday last month's broadcast in honour of a Lebanese prisoner released by Israel violated its code of ethics. Israel said on Wednesday it would no longer assist the Qatar-based network because of the July 19 party broadcast for Samir Qantar, who spent 29 years in an Israeli jail for a 1979 attack in which five Israelis were killed.
The Arabic network said in a statement that its editorial board concluded that the broadcast "violated Al Jazeera's Code of Ethics". According to the network, it "regards these violations as very serious and will assess what action is necessary".
The Al Jazeera show featured Qantar using a scimitar, a traditional Arab sword, to slice a cake with his picture on it. The broadcast included a fireworks display and Arabic music.
According to Reuters, Daniel Seaman, the head of Israel's Government Press Office, said he was encouraged by Al Jazeera's decision to conduct an internal review but said his office would await the outcome before deciding whether to change policy. "This is a fundamental question as to where Al Jazeera stands. Does it stand with the extremists or is it a professional media organisation?" Seaman said.