Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV announces it has begun broadcasting via a European communications satellite. Less than 24 hours later, its broadcasts were removed from the air shortly after the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center’s bulletin and as a result of the intervention of the French authorities.
1. On January 5, 2009 , the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center revealed that Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV had begun broadcasting via a European communications satellite called Eurobird , which belongs to Eutelsat , a company whose head offices are in Paris . 1
2. Following the publication of the ITIC information and after appeals by many factors, the French authorities instructed Eutelsat to remove Al-Aqsa TV's broadcasts from its European satellite. On the morning of January 11, and ITIC examination showed that the broadcasts had in fact been removed from Eurobird .
3. According to official sources in the French satellite industry, Al-Aqsa TV was taken off the air less than 24 hours after it started broadcasting. According to the same sources, the French broadcasting regulator CSA ( Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel ) wrote to Eutelsat and warned them that much of Hamas's programming contravened French laws against incitement to hatred and violence (Agence France Presse, January 9, 2009 ).
4. Eutelsat, which operates the Eurobird satellite, claimed it had not signed a contract with Hamas but had rented space on one of its satellites to a Bahrain-based communications provider named Noorsat . It was Noorsat, claimed Eutelsat, that provided space for Al-Aqsa TV and made it possible for it to broadcast on Eurobird. Noorsat was then informed that it was obliged to respect French law, and Al-Aqsa TV broadcasts halted (Agence France Presse, January 9, 2009 ).
The Bahrani Noorsat's homepage. The company enabled Al-Aqsa TV to use the space
allotted it by the Eurobird satellite, resulting in a warning from the French authorities
(Agence France Presse, January 9, 2009).
1 For further information see our January 7, 2009 Bulletin entitled "Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV broadcasts via a European satellite operated by a corporation whose head offices are in Paris”