GANEI TAL, Gaza – Hamas has been using its official radio station in Gaza to broadcast instructions to terrorists in the field firing mortars and rockets at Gaza’s Jewish communities, security sources told WND.
Hamas regularly fires mortars and Qassam rockets at Gush Katif, the slate of Gaza’s Jewish communities scheduled for evacuation Aug. 17. The terror group launched more than 120 rockets and mortars the past two weeks, killing one woman and injuring more than eight. Yesterday, a Qassam rocket hit Neve Dekalim, a large southern Katif town.
Analysts expect the rocket attacks to increase as the evacuation date gets closer so that Hamas, popular in the Gaza Strip, can claim to its Palestinian supporters it drove Israel from the area.
According to security sources, Hamas the past few months has been using its official radio station, Voice of Al Aqsa, to relay instructions to terrorists firing rockets and mortars at Gush Katif from Gaza City. The station, which broadcasts in Arabic, is available to the general Gaza public at 106.7 FM.
Sources say Hamas operations coordinators in Gaza use the station to provide terrorists with directions such as the exact coordinates in and near Gaza City from which to launch the rockets and mortars and the trajectory to be used in firing the Qassam missiles.
Qassams, about four feet in length, lack a guidance system and are launched by terrorists using the rocket’s trajectory and known travel distance to aim at a particular Jewish community.
“The radio station is not only broadcasting incitement, but, incredibly, broadcasting military instructions to carry out attacks against Israel,” said a security source.
Voice of Al Aqsa is broadcast both on FM and on the Internet with programming that routinely incites violence against Israel. The station was bombed by the Israeli Defense Forces in May 2004, but was rebuilt quickly and resumed broadcasts shortly thereafter.
The Society for Internet Research told WND the Al Aqsa Internet site is hosted by a Miami, Fla.-based company, Vault Networks. The site’s live radio stream, assigned to the “Habeeb Net Internet Cafe” in Gaza, is currently down, but the FM radio broadcast is fully functional. The Internet broadcast upstream provider is Barak ITC, a large Israeli telecommunications company.
Voice of Al Aqsa, aside from broadcasting instructions to Hamas terrorists and inciting violence against Israel, also lashes out at America and Britain.
On July 15, immediately following a Qassam attack , Voice of Al Aqsa broadcast an unscheduled sermon by an unidentified preacher expressing solidarity with the Iraqi insurgency against the U.S.
“We [Hamas] are with Iraq and with the people of Iraq. We are against America and against Britain. Thus, jihad continues and the intifada continues, and the next breakthrough will take place in Jaffa,” said the preacher, according to an analysis and translation provided by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel’s Center for Special Studies.
“It should be noted that the terrorist organizations’ local broadcasting stations, particularly those operating in the Gaza Strip, are major sources of incitement … and serve as a means to circumvent the restrictions imposed on Palestinian Authority-monitored media … to broadcast programs preaching hatred and terrorism against Israel , the U.S. , the UK , and even the Palestinian Authority itself,” said a Center for Special Studies report.
The Palestinian Authority’s Interior Ministry recently announced on its website it would “take all the necessary legal means” against Al Aqsa Voice, which “damages national unity and is a blatant and overt violation both of the law and professional ethics.”
No action was taken against the radio station. Still, Hamas, on its site, strongly condemned the Interior Ministry’s threat, calling it “a calculated blow against us and an action against the free media, [an institution] protected by all international treaties … .”
The Hamas statement continued that now, more than ever, the Palestinian people needed to “assimilate freedom of opinion and freedom of expression to establish our state.”
Editor’s note: “ISRAEL BETRAYED?” – the July issue of WND’s acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine – is devoted entirely to an in-depth exploration of the controversial forced removal of thousands of Jewish residents from Gaza planned for August, and the likely creation of a Hamas-run terror state many believe will follow. Read more about “ISRAEL BETRAYED?”