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In 2002, the IBA established a third TV channel - IBA Arabic Channel - which was intended for Arabic-speaking viewers in foreign countries (ironically, this was the original purpose that Channel 33 was established for) and for Arabic-speaking Israelis. For the latter purpose, the "Israel Television in Arabic" department of the IBA, which until then broadcast on IBA Channel 1 2–4 hours a day, had moved to the new channel, where Channel 1 was left only with Hebrew programming. Some years earlier, in 1985, Israel Television in Arabic had been awarded the prestigious Israel Prize, for its special contribution to society and the State. IBA Arabic Channel was broadcasting via the European Hotbird satellite.
Due to lack in Arabic programs, the channel also broadcast reruns from IBA's Channel 1 and Channel 33. A couple of years after the establishment, IBA had realised that it cannot financially support three TV channels, and decided to merge Channel 33 with the Arabic channel into a new IBA "Channel 3 - Middle East" in early 2004.
Haarutz 1 (HD) | Haarutz 33 | IETV 1