Palestinians launched an effort Thursday to be included in the extremely popular Eurovision song contest, which pits bands representing European nations against each other in a popularity contest. In a news conference Thursday, Palestinian broadcasting officials explained the steps they were taking to try to qualify. The Danish government is giving (â‚¬140,000, US$180,000) to help upgrade Palestine Television's infrastructure. Getting the official station accepted into the European Broadcasting Union is the first step to getting into the contest. "We hope that they will accept our proposal," said Fadia Daibas of the Sabreen company for artistic development. The Eurovision contest is held once a year, with European nations each sending a performer chosen in a national competition. This year's contest will be held in Helsinki, Finland and will be contested by a record 42 countries. Israel has participated for years, and the contest is also popular in the Palestinian areas.