Al-Aqsa TV

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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 Hamad.[4]


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 Gaza War, Israeli aircraft repeatedly bombed the al-Aqsa television station headquarters in Gaza City. 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]


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 Hamad, 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]


  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,, 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. ^
  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". London: The Guardian. 
  16. ^ a b c Johnson, Alan (2008-05-15). "Hamas and antisemitism". London: The Guardian. 

External links[edit]