Israels Arab minority to get TV station

Israel’s Arab minority will soon have its own Arabic language TV station.

Israel granted the station the first license for an independent Arab broadcaster. Hala TV will begin broadcasting in about three months.

Israel’s state TV broadcasts several hours a day in Arabic, and Arabic satellite channels such as al Jazeera also are available.

Jafar Farah of the Arab advocacy organization Mossawa Center says the decision is “an important step forward in increasing the visibility of the Arab citizens of Israel.”

About 20 percent of Israel’s 7 million citizens are Arabs. They are guaranteed equal rights with Jews but often suffer from discrimination. — jta