TEL AVIV – Israel Law Center-Shurat Hadin on Sunday threatened to sue Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government for purportedly allowing the Palestinian Authority to use Israeli airwaves to broadcast incitement to violence.
“The problem of murderous incitement by Palestinian groups and individuals against Jews has become epidemic,” the NGO wrote in a letter to Netanyahu, addressing him in his capacity as both prime minister and communications minister.
During the Oslo Accords in the 1990s, Israel’s government apportioned broadcast frequencies to the PA for both radio and television network broadcasts.
“Much of this incitement has come directly from Palestinian leaders and is broadcast on official PA television and radio. … Such incitement has played a major role in encouraging … Palestinian terrorist attacks against Jews and Israelis over the last seven months,” the letter continued.
Shurat Hadin cited the case of a 16-year-old Palestinian terrorist who murdered mother of six Dafna Meir at her home in the West Bank, claiming that incitement shown on Palestinian television motivated the teenager to carry out the attack.
The letter accused Netanyahu of being inconsistent in fighting Palestinian incitement, on the one hand taking the Hamas-owned Al-Aksa channel off the air and allowing the IDF to close Islamic Jihad’s radio station in Ramallah; while on the other, continuing to permit the PA to use its airwaves “in violation of the PA’s commitments to refrain from and to prosecute incitement and in violation of international law.”
The NGO, quoting the prime minister’s own words, said the matter was not about “freedom of the press, but about halting incitement to murder.”
Shurat Hadin said the material being broadcast by the PA constitutes incitement to genocide under the International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute because it “directly and publicly incites others to commit genocide.”
The NGO accused Israel of effectively facilitating PA incitement to genocide against its own Jewish citizens, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The letter ends with a warning that if the government does not take action and shut down the PA frequencies, the NGO will file “legal action without further notice.”
Shurat Hadin may advance their case by petitioning the High Court of Justice, but the Post reports that it is highly unlikely that the court will take the prime minister to task for failing to combat incitement against Jews.