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UK broadcasting watchdog rejects complaint against Palestinian being called 'martyr'

Protesters gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy in central London, in support of Gaza's anniversary march of the 'Great March of Return', in London, UK on March 30, 2018 [Palestinian Forum in Britain]
Protesters gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy in central London, UK on 30 March 2018 [Palestinian Forum in Britain]

Britain's broadcasting and communications regulator, Ofcom, has rejected a complaint against London-based Al-Hiwar TV for calling a Palestinian man killed by Israeli security forces a "martyr", Arabi21.com reported on Sunday.

The family of Israeli occupation soldier Eli Kai, who was killed by Palestinian teacher Fadi Abu Shkheedem, filed the complaint against Al-Hiwar.

"It is acceptable to report incidents from a Palestinian point of view," Ofcom said in its reply to the complaint. This has apparently infuriated the family of the Israeli soldier.

"The remarks mentioned in [the programme] did not encourage terrorism," said a spokesman for Ofcom. The programme actually discussed several issues related to the tension in the West Bank, he added. "We considered that the viewers of the TV channel would watch the show from a Palestinian point of view."

Ofcom noted that it understands the word "martyr" is usually used to describe victims of violent killing, not only war casualties, and the viewers will not understand it as "glorifying a killer".

Following the killing of the Israeli soldier in 2021, Israeli occupation forces detained Abu Shkheedem's relatives and demolished the house where his wife and children lived. Such collective punishment is illegal under international law.

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