January 7, 2009
Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC)
Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV broadcasts via a European satellite operated by a corporation whose head offices are in Paris Al-Aqsa TV announces the beginning of broadcasts via a European communications satellite
1. Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV and the Hamas’s PALDF Forum announced on January 5 that they would begin broadcasting via a European communications satellite called Eurobird (frequency 11766 and/or 27500 (10873).
2. Al-Aqsa TV is Hamas’s main propaganda tool. It broadcasts vicious anti-Israeli incitement and calls for attacks on the Israeli civilian population. For example, it recently broadcast a speech by Mahmoud al-Zahar, who claimed that the IDF attacks provided Hamas with justification for attacking Israeli hospitals and ambulances and killing Israelis (Al-Aqsa TV, January 5). During Operation Cast Lead the channel’s transmitting capabilities were damaged and its broadcasts are currently limited and uneven.
Conclusion and evaluation
3. Investigation showed that to overcome disruptions to its broadcasts during Operation Cast Lead, Al-Aqsa TV added two frequencies by using the European satellite Eurobird . The head offices of Eutelsat , the corporation operating the satellite, are located in Paris . Its broadcasts reach Central and West Europe where there are large Arab communities, exposing them to Hamas’s vicious anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic and anti-Western propaganda.
4. Note: In April 2008 Al-Aqsa TV’s CEO, Hamas activist Fathi Hamad , said that he intended to increase the range of Al-Aqsa TV’s broadcasts by using the European communications satellite Hotbird 1 (operated by the same European corporation as Eurobird). He realized his intention during Operation Cast Lead, in our assessment to overcome the disruptions to the station’s broadcasts and to reach larger audiences