Chairman of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council, Asher Biton, announced on Thursday to the "Hot" TV network its decision to suspend the "GodTV - Shelanu” channel from being broadcast in Israel.

Explaining the decision, Biton said that the channel appeals to Jews with Christian content, in contrast to the original request for approval which stated that the channel is intended for the Christian population.

Before deciding to remove the channel, the chairman of the council held a hearing, to which Hot and the channel itself responded. After examining the responses, Biton replied that the responses didn’t contradict what was written in the hearing - that the channel’s broadcasts do not correspond to the approval granted in April. Therefore, he said, there is no avoiding the suspension of the channel and its removal from scheduled broadcasts.

Hot was ordered to take the channel off the air within 7 days. It has the right to submit a new request which is "clear and transparent" for the approval of the channel, including a truthful and detailed characterization of the channel, and that request will be brought before the council for an in-depth discussion on such matters as freedom of expression versus harm to religious feelings, points which the council did not have to address so far.

The anti-missionary group Yad L’Achim responded to the decision, saying, “We are happy that the Communications Minister Mr. Yoaz Hendel and his staff understood the intentions of the operators of the channel and acted to shut it down in accordance with our request.”

“In our letter to the previous Communications Minister Mr. David Amsalem several months ago already, we warned that missionaries had established this channel in order to preach to hundreds of thousands of Israelis and convert them to Christianity, and that the missionaries had been granted approval through subterfuge.

“We want to thank MK Moshe Gafni for his great help vis a vis the communications ministry regarding the matter.”

Rabbi Tovia Singer, director of Outreach Judaism, said: "This ruling that shut down the missionary channel, GOD TV, is a landmark decision by the Israel regulatory authorities. By the admission of the station’s president and CEO, “Shelanu,” was set to convert every Jew in Israel to Christianity."

"This decision sends a loud message to overzealous missionaries dedicated to converting Israeli Jews to Christianity: their aggressive and deceptive targeting of Jews and Israeli children for conversion is unwelcome in the Holy Land."