April 25, 2007

Hamas TV prepares for Intifadah III

Hamas TV Prepares For Intifada III
The MEMRI Report
By STEVEN STALINSKY, April 12, 2007

Some Hamas leaders have been speaking in Arabic of "a coming stage" against Israel. Many Middle East analysts are also discussing a possibility of an "Intifada III." Unlike the first two "uprisings," the Palestinian Arabs now have press and broadcast apparatuses at their disposal.

Leading up to the Palestinian Arab parliament elections in January 2006, and following the Arab satellite TV revolution led by Al-Jazeera, the terrorist organization Hamas launched its own TV network named after the Al-Aqsa mosque. Early on, most of the programming was devoted to Koranic readings and images of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.

Shortly thereafter, Hamas officials were quoted saying it would be emulating what Hezbollah did with its TV network Al-Manar and that it would also aim to spread the ideology of Hamas worldwide.

The director of the board of Al-Aqsa TV, Fathi Hamid, told Islam Online in January 2006, "It's only fitting that the Islamic movement, Hamas, should have a TV station where we can explain our hopes, our Islamic culture, and counter the widespread and incorrect stereotyping of struggle and resistance as terrorism. Ultimately, we hope Al-Aqsa TV will be a bridge between Hamas and the entire world, so we can have our own voice in the international media."

Programming developed to include calls by Hamas leaders for Palestinian Arab viewers to become suicide bombers, as well as segments in support of the killing of Israelis. One example includes an address at a rally led by Sheik Fayyadh Al-Akhdhar, a Hamas leader in Nablus, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on December 23.

The Hamas religious figure said, "The Hamas of the Revolution of the Mosques, of the War of the Knives, of the car bombs, of the great martyrdom-seekers, of the Al-Qassam missiles, of the Zionists' death tunnels, of the kidnapping of the soldiers and the settlers is the same Hamas of the government, of the legislative council, and of the ministries. … It will continue to march along the path of the martyrs and to follow in their footsteps until the liberation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the filth of the aggressive oppressors."

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