Hamas Plans New Satellite Channel
by Steven Emerson
Hamas is launching its own satellite television station in order to spew its extremist propaganda on the international stage.
The channel, which will be carried on al Ra’i satellite, will reflect Hamas’ policies, especially when it comes to the Palestinian issue, spokesman Ihab al-Ghussein said. “The satellite channel will convey a media message best serving the Palestinian cause and national agenda,” Ghussein told the Hamas-affiliatedFelesteen newspaper.
It’s a sign that Hamas is trying to catch up with the West in using regular and social media to promote its agenda globally.
The head of the government media office, Ihab al-Ghussein, announced its intention of establishing a television channel that will reflect Hamas government policies on various Palestinian issues.
An unnamed Hamas official told Al-Monitor that the organization’s media department tries to manage its media messaging. “We are incapable of controlling every single word spoken on media outlets, even if the latter is affiliated with the movement. But efforts to control and monitor media content are relentless to comprehensively and succinctly convey the movement’s point of view to all domestic and foreign parties,” the source said.
Existing Hamas-affiliated news outlets already espouse party line positions, but the terrorist organization apparently feels the need to establish an explicit government mouthpiece under its direct control. A spokeswoman said that Hamas hopes that the new channel can offer a “point of view of the government” different from the existing Al-Aqsa satellite channel.
Meanwhile, the arrest of six Arabs from a Jerusalem law firm Wednesday shows that Hamas already uses Palestinian television outlets to “encode” messages to its members in Israeli jails. According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), Israeli police arrested the six for allegedly ferrying messages out of jail after meeting with their clients. The responses would come via coded messages aired on the Palestinian Authority’s television station.
PMW cited a November program in which a terrorist notified his brother in prison that he was planning to kidnap an Israeli as a hostage in order to negotiate his brother’s release. That terrorist did eventually kidnap and murder an Israeli, intending to use the body as a bargaining chip; however, he was caught before implementing his plan and confessed to having sent the message to his brother via PA TV.