JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed an order declaring the Hamas television channel “Al Aqsa” to be a “terrorist organization”.
Netanyahu made the decision based on a recommendation by the Israel Security Apparatus (ISA) and Defense Ministry because it was using the satellite channel “to recruit militants to its ranks,” a statement from the prime minister’s office said.
Last month, the ISA said Palestinian broadcasters and Gaza-based journalists were using on-air cues to recruit Palestinians with Israeli ID cards to carry out attacks inside Israel.
Late last year, the Israel Defense Forces targeted the Hamas-run TV station in the Gaza Strip.
‘Trouble on Gaza Border’
Trouble along the Israeli-Gaza border has been heating up over the last few weeks.
For nearly a year, Hamas has been orchestrating violent demonstrations along the Gaza Border with Israel in what they dubbed “The Great March of Return.” On Fridays, they organize buses to bring Gaza residents to the border to protest.
The hallmark of these so-called “peaceful protests” has been huge crowds of thousands of Palestinians and incendiary devices and explosives that are flown across the border on balloons or kites.
Over the last few weeks, the disturbances returned to a nighttime phenomenon that protestors used in September and October last year. Hundreds of Palestinians advance to within several hundred yards of the border and throw explosive devices and grenades.
The overall goal seems to be to put pressure on Israeli residents of nearby border communities who can hear all the explosions and noise. Another several dozen Gazans advance closer to the fence and attack Israeli soldiers on with rocks and explosive devices.
The irony of the noise attacks is that the commotion also affects the Palestinian children on the other side who are disturbed by the explosions.
Meanwhile, IDF aircraft struck several military targets in a Hamas compound in the southern Gaza Strip Wednesday in response the launch of balloons carrying explosive devices and projectiles at Israeli territory.
It’s the sixth time in a week that the IDF has carried out airstrikes in response to the balloons or explosive devices hurled at the security fence.
“The IDF views any attempt to harm Israeli civilians with great severity, and will continue to operate with determination against these terror acts,” the IDF said in a statement after Wednesday’s airstrike.
“The Hamas terror organization is accountable for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it,” the statement said.