(photo credit: AP [file])
In a bid to improve its image and counter Hamas propaganda, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction is about to launch its own satellite TV station.
The new station will be located in Ramallah, headquarters of the PA and Fatah leadership, and will have offices in Cairo, Beirut and Amman.
It's not clear where the funding for the Fatah TV is coming from. However, a Fatah official told The Jerusalem Post that at least two Gulf countries have agreed to fund the station.
The official also revealed that several EU and other donor countries had turned down Fatah's request for funding under the pretext that the Palestinians don't need another TV station.
The new station is expected to start its broadcasts in the coming weeks, said Nabil Amr, former PA information minister who has been entrusted with establishing the new station, which will be called Falastinia (Palestinian).
In the past few days, the station's management published advertisements in the Palestinian media seeking presenters and journalists.
The decision to launch the new station was taken a few months ago by the Fatah Central Committee, a key decision-making body headed by Abbas and other veteran members of the ruling faction. The decision came in the wake of increased criticism of the performance of the PA-controlled media, especially Palestine TV and The Voice of Palestine radio station.
Fatah representatives have long complained that the PA-controlled media were incompetent and ineffective in confronting Hamas's propaganda machine. Hamas has two TV stations which are more popular than the PA's media outlets.
Fatah leaders are hoping that the new station will help them restore the Palestinian public's confidence in the corruption-riddled faction. Fatah has lost much of its credibility largely due to the fact that it has failed to reform itself following its defeat to Hamas in the January 2006 parliamentary election.