A journalist at work inside Al-Aqsa TV studio in Gaza City (Mohammed A. Alhajjar/MEE)
A journalist at work inside Al-Aqsa TV studio in Gaza City (Mohammed A. Alhajjar/MEE)

The Palestinians largely condemned on Wednesday the Israeli decision of considering al-Aqsa Satellite Television Channel, which is run by Islamic Hamas movement, a terrorist group.

The Hamas-run TV channel said in an emailed press statement that the Israeli decision “is largely condemned,” adding that “it puts the lives of dozens of journalists and technical crews as well as the buildings of the channel into risk.” “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is using such hostile remarks and decisions in the frame of the election campaign that he is practicing against his political rivals,” the statement said. It added that “al-Aqsa TV reaffirms that it is a Palestinian media institution that acts in accordance with the rights of journalists and the freedom of press which were guaranteed by the international law.”

Meanwhile, the Hamas-run governmental press office said in a press statement that Israel “is circulating claims, allegations and accusations that are totally untrue and fabricated to justify targeting the Palestinian press.” The website of the Israeli army had earlier said that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is also Israel’s Minister of Defence, issued a decision that considered al-Aqsa TV “a terrorist group.” The Committee to Support Journalists that belongs to the Palestinian Journalists Union said in a statement that considering the TV channel a terrorist group “is an extension to the series of the Israeli targeting of Palestinian media institutions.” “The decision is so dangerous and it is a serious indication that gives Israel a free hand to target the Palestinian media in order to hide the truth that clearly shows the real crimes of the Israeli occupation against our people,” the statement said.

Abdulatif al-Qanoua, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said that the Israeli decision against al-Aqsa TV “encourages the occupation to target the Palestinian media institutions and organizations.” On Nov. 12 last year, Israeli army warplanes destroyed the main building of al-Aqsa TV in Gaza city following a wave of tension between Israel and Hamas-led militants. The building of al-Aqsa TV has been destroyed three times since 2008 by Israeli warplanes.

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