Al-Jazeera West Bank ban lifted

By Jessica Elgot, July 20, 2009

Arabic TV station Al Jazeera is back on air in the West Bank after a ban was lifted by the Palestinian Authority, who will now pursue legal action against the channel.

The PA had accused the broadcaster of spreading lies and having a negative bias, after Farouk Kaddoumi, a founding member of Fatah, alleged on an Al-Jazeera politics programme that Palestinian premier Mahmoud Abbas had been involved in an Israeli plot to kill Yasir Arafat in 2004.

His claim has been greeted with outrage by the Palestinian leadership which has denounced Kaddoumi as “sick and unhinged” and PA closed down the station's offices in Doha and Ramallah last week.

Now Walid al-Omary, the station's chief, said he had received a telephone call from Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad lifting the ban and the station has resumed braodcasting

Mr Fayyad is reported to have told Mr al-0mary that they would still be launching legal action.

Last updated: 8:42am, July 20 2009