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21 Jan 2012
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More about our work in Palestinian Territories
Palestinian Territories
The BBC World Service Trust is supporting the development of an active and effective media sector in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. We are encouraging dialogue and networking, facilitating the development of an effective and independent professional association for the industry, and building the capacity of broadcast journalists to deliver high standard interactive current affairs programming.
Palestinians in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, have lived under Israeli occupation since 1967.
Israel evacuated its settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and withdrew its forces, ending almost four decades of military occupation.

Former Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, the candidate of the Fatah faction, won the January 2005 poll to replace the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The surprise victory of the militant Islamic movement Hamas in parliamentary polls in January 2006 led to heightened tension between the Palestinian factions. There were recurring bouts of violence between Hamas and Mr Abbas's Fatah faction, raising fears of civil war. In February 2007, Hamas and Fatah agreed to form a government of national unity.

However, in June 2007 Hamas took control of the Gaza strip, seriously challenging the concept of a coalition, which Abbas subsequently dissolved.


The Palestinian people are avid consumers of the media and current affairs - 88% follow the news on a daily basis. Television is their key source for news and information.

Official broadcasting is run by the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) which operates Voice of Palestine radio and Palestine TV.

There are also 45 independent local television stations in the West Bank, 28 independent local radio stations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 3 daily newspapers and numerous private News Agencies and publications.
International watchdogs regard the Palestinian media as being generally more independent than in much of the rest of the Arab world.

However, journalists risk harassment, attack or arrest by the security services, armed activists or militant groups. Self-censorship is widespread.

Media rights watchdog Reporters without Borders said in 2007 that Palestinian and foreign journalists were "victims of fierce clashes" between Hamas and Fatah.
  • 68% of the Palestinian population lives in poverty
  • Unemployment stands at 30.3%
  • 88% of Palestinians over the age of 18 follow the news on a daily basis
  • 61% of Palestinians get their news from television, 21% from radio, 8% from newspapers
  • 69% of the population owned satellite dishes in 2005
  • 26.4% of the Palestinian households had a computer and 9.2% had internet access at home in 2004
Working in partnership
We are working in partnership with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and UNESCO to support the development of an active and effective media sector in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The initiative aims to:
  • Encourage and facilitate networking and dialogue between media professionals
  • Make recommendations to stakeholders for an effective and independent professional association for the industry
  • Building the capacity of broadcast journalists, with a focus on interactive programming
The International Federation of Journalists has substantial expertise in the fields of trade union development, solidarity and dialogue in the region. UNESCO has been coordinating the work of various local media organisations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for several years.
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Our work in the Palestinian Territories
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BBC Media Action (the new name for the BBC World Service Trust) is registered in England & Wales under company number 03521587 and charity number 1076235.
Registered Office: c/o Room 302 NE, Bush House, Aldwych, The Strand, London, WC2B 4PH
BBC WST Limited is registered in England & Wales under company number 02746733 and charity number 1121665.
Registered Office: Bush House, P.O. Box 76, Strand, London, WC2B 4PH
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