Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, signed an order declaring the Hamas Al-Aqsa television channel to be a terrorist organization, pursuant to anti-terrorism legislation.
The decision follows a recommendation by the Shin Bet and the Defense Ministry national anti-economic terrorism unit, which was pursuant to the uncovering by the Shin Bet of the Hamas terrorist organization’s use of the Al-Aqsa satellite channel to recruit militants to its ranks.
Al-Aqsa TV’s programming includes news and propaganda promoting Hamas.
The station began broadcasting in the Gaza Strip in 2006, after Hamas had won a sweeping victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections. On January 22, 2006, the PA prosecutor decided to close down the station because it did not have the necessary broadcast license, but the decision was never enforced.
During the 2008 Gaza War, Israeli warplanes bombed the al-Aqsa TV headquarters in Gaza City. The building was completely destroyed, but according to reports the station continued to broadcast from a mobile unit.
During the 2014 Gaza war, an Israeli air strike hit a building housing the al-Aqsa TV and radio channels in Gaza City. The TV station continued to broadcast, but the radio station shut down.
On November 12, 2018, Israel again bombed the station building.