Israel takes aim at Hamas-run TV channel for 'incitement'

PM Netanyahu urges French president to ban transmission in France of Hamas-run Al-Aqsa television channel

Israel takes aim at Hamas-run TV channel for 'incitement'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel was pushing several countries to ban transmission of Palestinian television channels that it accuses of "inciting violence" against Israelis.

At a weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said he had spoken to French President Francois Hollande over the weekend about banning transmission in France of the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV channel.

"I had previously contacted him and requested that French broadcasts of the Al-Aqsa channel be taken off the air," he said.

"The channel was indeed removed from these satellites, but it went back to broadcasting via another satellite," Netanyahu added.

He went on to assert: "We are also taking action in other places and against other channels to halt these broadcasts."

The Times of Israel has reported that the Al-Aqsa channel was taken off French-based satellite provider Eutelsat on Friday at Hollande's request.

On Friday, Israeli troops raided the offices of the "Palestine Today" television channel and stopped it from broadcasting, claiming it was "inciting violence".

A months-long wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence has seen more than 190 Palestinians killed since Oct. 1 of last year, usually following alleged attacks on Israelis or in clashes with Israeli forces.

Over the same period, 34 Israelis and foreigners have been killed in alleged attacks by Palestinians.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), a media rights group, criticized the closure of the "Palestine Today" channel and the arrest of three of its staff by the Israeli authorities. 

"We cannot tolerate these continuous attempts by the Israeli authorities to muzzle the Palestinian press," IFJ President Jim Boumelha said in a statement.

"Incitement of terror is a dangerous accusation to make against a media [outlet]; the decision to close it down cannot occur without due [legal] process," he added.

Last November, Israeli forces shut down several Palestinian broadcasters based in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.

The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, for its part, has cited some 40 "violations" committed by the Israeli authorities against Palestinian journalists or media outlets since Jan. 1 of this year.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Mart 2016, 09:21