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January 12, 2009
French stop broadcasting Hamas TV
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:
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 .
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 ).
It is comforting to know that the French don't believe that "incitement to hatred and violence" deserve freedom of speech protection.