08 June 2010
The French government has asked its broadcasting authority CSA to put an end to "incitement to hatred' on the Hamas-run ‘Al-Aqsa TV’, broadcast via a Paris-based satellite company. Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said that France had received a warning from the European Commission that ‘Al-Aqsa TV’, which is accused of inciting hatred of Jews and Israelis, had repeatedly breached European rules.
The station, broadcast via the Eutelsat satellite operator, shows programs which "incite hatred or violence for reasons of religion or nationality," Valero told reporters. He added that French authorities were confident the CSA would take rapid action to ensure content broadcast via satellites owned by French-based firms and beamed into the EU respected French and EU law.
In 2008 and 2009, the CSA warned Eutelsat about breaching French laws that ban incitement to hatred, but these warnings did not lead to any change in the content broadcast via its satellites. The satellite operator said in a statement that it had always strictly complied with decisions taken by the CSA.
"In 2008 and in 2009, when the CSA informed us of its decisions concerning Al Aqsa, we immediately contacted our client Noorsat, the operator which handles the broadcasting of the ‘Al-Aqsa’ channel within its bouquet of programs," it said. ‘Al-Aqsa TV’ is controlled by Hamas.
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