Al-Aqsa TV

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AL-AQSA TV
Type Satellite television network
Availability Middle East, Webcast
Motto "Your eye to home " in Arabic "aenik a`ala el-watan"
Owner Hamas
Key people
Fathi Hamad, director
Launch date
9 January 2006,
 Gaza Strip
Official website
(Arabic )

Al-Aqsa TV (Arabic: شبكـة الأقصـى‎) is the official Hamas-run television channel.[1] Its programming includes news and propaganda promoting Hamas,[2] children's shows (such as Tomorrow's Pioneers), and religiously inspired entertainment.[3] It is currently directed by Palestinian Legislative Council member Fathi Ahmad Hammad.[4]

Timeline[edit]

The station began broadcasting in the Gaza Strip on January 9, 2006 [5][6] after Hamas won a sweeping victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections.[3] On January 22, 2006 the Palestinian public prosecutor Ahmed Maghni decided to close down a television station because it did not have the necessary broadcast license, but the decision was never enforced.[5][5]

On December 29, 2008, during the 2008–2009 Israel-Gaza conflict, Israeli aircraft repeatedly bombed the al-Aqsa television station headquarters in Gaza. The building was completely destroyed,[7] but the station continued to broadcast from a mobile TV unit[8][9]

On July 29, 2014, during the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, an Israeli air strike hit a media building housing al-Aqsa TV and al-Aqsa Radio channel in the centre of Gaza City early on in the morning. The television station continued to broadcast, but the radio station went silent.[10] The radio station has since come back on the air.[11]

Criticism[edit]

In May 2013, Al Aqsa TV became the focus of media scrutiny after a deci­sion by the Newseum to honor two Al Aqsa TV mem­bers as part of its ongoing memo­r­ial to jour­nal­ists who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2012.[12] The U.S. government classifies Al-Aqsa TV as being controlled by Hamas, a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist," and states that it "will not distinguish between a business financed and controlled by a terrorist group, such as Al-Aqsa Television, and the terrorist group itself."[13] According to the American Jewish organisation, the Anti-Defamation League, Al-Aqsa TV promotes terrorist activity and incites hatred of Jews and Israelis[6] and much of its programming glorifying violence is geared towards children.[6]

In regards to Al-Aqsa's television programme Tomorrow's Pioneers,[14] following complaints by Israeli watchdog groups that triggered international scrutiny, Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti said he had asked Al Aqsa TV to stop the broadcasts so the content could be reviewed. Despite Barghouti's call, Tomorrow's Pioneers went on the air as usual.[14] In later episodes the co-host, a Mickey Mouse-like character named Farfour was killed by an Israeli interrogator, and was replaced by a bee named Naoul, who also died and was replaced by a rabbit character named Assoud. Assoud, in turn, was martyred and replaced by Nassur the bear.[citation needed]

In May 2008, Bassem Naeem, the minister of health in the Hamas government in Gaza, responded to allegations of antisemitism in Al-Aqsa TV programmes.[15] In his letter to The Guardian, Naeem stated that the Al-Aqsa Channel is an independent media institution that often does not express the views of the Hamas government or the Hamas movement.[15] In response, Guardian columnist Alan Johnson wrote that Al-Aqsa TV cannot be a media institution independent of Hamas,[16] because it is headed by Fathi Ahmad Hammad, chairman of a Hamas-run company that also produces the Hamas radio station and its bi-weekly newspaper,[16] and because, since 2007, Hamas had blocked Palestinian National Authority broadcasts into Gaza, which indicated that there is no independent media in Gaza.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hamas leader killed in air strike". BBC. 2009-01-01. 
  2. ^ "Subtle voices of dissent surface in ...." Ynetnews. 15 August 2014. 15 August 2014
  3. ^ a b "Hamas Launches Television Network". NPR. Retrieved 2006-02-03. 
  4. ^ Butcher, Tim (2007-05-11). "Anti-Israel 'Mickey Mouse' row escalates". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-05-11. 
  5. ^ a b c Hamas TV station shut down, news24.com, January 22, 2006
  6. ^ a b c "Terrorism: Al Aqsa TV". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved 2013. 
  7. ^ "Hundreds dead, injured in Gaza as Israeli airstrikes continue". CNN. 2008-12-28. Archived from the original on 30 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  8. ^ "Palestinians: IDF strikes offices of Hamas TV". YNET. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  9. ^ "Palestinians: IAF aircraft bomb Hamas television studios". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  10. ^ "Israel-Gaza conflict: massive explosions as air strikes hit Hamas media building". Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  11. ^ "Twitter account for AqsaTVChannel". Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  12. ^ "Spotlight On Al Aqsa Television". Anti-Defemation League. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  13. ^ http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/tg594.aspx
  14. ^ a b Al Aqsa TV defies Hamas government, Reuters, May 13, 2007.
  15. ^ a b Naeem, Bassem (2008-05-15). "Hamas condemns the Holocaust" (in English). London: The Guardian. 
  16. ^ a b c Johnson, Alan (2008-05-15). "Hamas and antisemitism" (in English). London: The Guardian. 

External links[edit]