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Sky joins BBC in refusing to air Gaza appeal

LONDON (JTA) — Britain’s Sky News has joined the BBC in refusing to broadcast a charity appeal for the people of Gaza.

Sky News made the announcement Monday, citing its need to remain objective in its coverage of the conflict, two days after the BBC declined to air the appeal, claiming it would damage its impartiality.

Also Monday, BBC stars criticized the corporation for its refusal, with Oscar-nominated actress Samantha Morton threatening to never work for the BBC again if it did not broadcast the appeal.

Last week a group of charities, including Save the Children, Oxfam, Christian Aid and CARE, approached all British broadcasters with a request to air the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for Gaza. The committee in Britain comes together for any major humanitarian crises that it judges requires joint action.

British broadcasters in the past often responded positively to such requests, but after the second Lebanon War the committee’s request was turned down.

Initially all broadcasters refused to broadcast the committee’s appeal for Gaza. By Saturday evening, however, following protests from politicians and activists, some changed their position.

On Saturday, demonstrators moved the starting point of their weekly anti-Israel demonstration to the front of the BBC building in central London. They called on the corporation to change its decision.

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