France Bans Hamas TV
France's CSA Broadcast Authority has officially ordered French-based companies to ban the Al-Aksa television station of Hamas from broadcasting using their satellites. The order followed a warning from the European Commission, which told France to stop allowing the hate filled broadcasts on its Eutelsat satellite.
The CSA has taken similar steps regarding other terrorist channels, and previously banned Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV and issued a warning to the Saudi channel Iqraa.
The European Foundation for Democracy and the Coalition Against Terrorist Media praised the European Union for pressuring France over the issue. “We welcome that the European Commission has taken a clear position against inflammatory broadcasts inciting hatred and promoting terrorism,” said director Roberta Bonazzi.
Al-Aksa first gained international attention due to organizations such as Palestinian Media Watch and Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which followed the show and provided translations of its content. The station became notorious in 2007 when it used a character styled on the popular American cartoon Mickey Mouse to promote terrorism and anti-Semitism; the character, Farfur, was later depicted being beaten to death by Israelis.
France follows the U.S., which in March 2010 classified Al-Aksa TV as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity, due to its racist and hate filled content and its attempts to target children and recruit them to terrorism.
The classification meant Al-Aksa assets in the U.S. are frozen, and U.S. citizens are prohibited from engaging in transactions with the organization.
Links to some of the MEMRI coverage of Al Aksa: