Hamas TV Forced to Halt Broadcasts to Europe

Hamas-run TV: France-based satellite provider will halt Gaza station’s broadcasts to Europe

A France-based satellite provider is halting broadcasts of the Hamas TV channel to Europe and parts of the Arab world because of concerns that it spreads incitement, a station official said Tuesday. The decision will deprive Gaza-based al-Aqsa TV of most of its viewers, said the channel’s head, Hazem Sharawy. The Hamas station is the centerpiece of a growing media operation of Gaza’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers. Losing the satellite provider will hamper the group’s attempts to spread its message and raise funds abroad. The decision to cut off the Hamas station came six years after a similar move by France and the U.S. against al-Manar, the channel of Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah. In Paris, Eutelsat spokeswoman Vanessa O’Connor said that last week the French broadcasting regulator CSA ordered it to stop beaming the Hamas channel into Europe by June 26. Al-Aqsa TV is part of a package of channels transmitted by Bahrain-based satellite operator Noorsat, which passes them in a single signal to Eutelsat, O’Connor said.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=10919185

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