Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday signed an order declaring Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV channel a terrorist organization.
The designation comes following the recommendations of the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) and the National Bureau for Financial Counterterrorism on the issue.
The Shin Bet recently exposed how Hamas was using the Al-Aqsa satellite channel to recruit operatives to carry out acts of terrorism against Israel.
The Shin Bet announced in February that it had uncovered repeated attempts by a clandestine Hamas unit in the Gaza Strip to recruit Arab residents of Judea and Samaria for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities against Israel, using the Al Aqsa broadcasts to send secret messages to the would-be-terrorists.
Some of the anchors who aided Hamas’ military wing in broadcasting messages included Islam Bader of Jabalya, 30, a Hamas operative and well-known Al Aqsa TV anchor, and Rajai Hams of Gaza City, 32, a Hamas operative and Al Aqsa TV anchor.
The Shin Bet and IDF were aware that Hamas operatives were using Al Aqsa TV for terrorist purposes, a key factor in the decision to launch an air strike against the channel’s studios in the Gaza Strip on November 12, 2018.
French President Francois Hollande in March 2013 ordered the French satellite service EUTELSAT to stop broadcasting the Al-Aqsa channel because of its incitement to commit terrorist attacks against Israel, and following a request by Netanyahu.