- Title: MIDDLE EAST: AlAqsa TV and Islamic Bank placed on U.S. sanctions list
- Date: 20th March 2010
- Summary: GAZA CITY, GAZA (MARCH 19, 2010) (REUTERS) HAMAS LEADER RADWAN ABU AYASH WALKING OUT OF ALAQSA TV STATION (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HAMAS LEADER RADWAN ABU AYASH, SAYING: "We in Hamas strongly condemn this decision. It is an interference in favour of the Zionist occupation. It is a contribution to censor the free media and a violation of media freedom. We call on all media outlets, Arabic, Islamic and international, to not cooperate with this decision. On the ground it doesn't really affect anything because we doesn't have any money in American banks or other banks." ENTRY TO NATIONAL ISLAMIC BANK SIGN READING: 'NATIONAL ISLAMIC BANK' MORE OF NATIONAL ISLAMIC BANK
- Embargoed: 4th April 2010 13:00
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA78XJC47P8ZWIRONDPSE9V1ELU
- Story Text: Hamas condemns U.S treasury decision to impose sanctions against two firms in Gaza - Islamic National Bank and Al-Aqsa Television - for their ties to the Islamist group.
The U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Thursday (March 18) against two firms in Gaza - Islamic National Bank and Al-Aqsa Television - for their ties to Hamas, though bank officials have denied any political affiliation.
It said the bank served members of Hamas' military wing, and the television station aired programs "designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood".
Mohammed Abu Thraya, deputy director of the Al-Aqsa station, blamed the US in cooperation with the "Zionist Occupation".
"After the success which Al Aqsa TV had in exposing the occupation against the holy sites of the Palestinian people and the building of a synagogue near Al Aqsa, the US treasury took a decision to work with the Zionist occupation to cut off Al Aqsa from the Western World which falls under the American Authority," Abu Thraya said in Al Aqsa TV office in Gaza.
Hamas leader Radwan abu ayash condemned the U.S treasury decision and called it a violation of "media freedom". He also said that the U.S Treasury decision does not affect any operations on the ground, since the National Bank does not do any dealings outside of Gaza.
"We in Hamas strongly condemn this decision. It is an interference in favour of the Zionist occupation. It is a contribution to censor the free media and a violation of media freedom. We call on all media outlets, Arabic, Islamic and international, to not cooperate with this decision. On the ground it doesn't really affect anything because we doesn't have any money in American banks or other banks," Abu Ayash said.
The Palestine Monetary Authority has worked to block Hamas from using banks in Gaza and elsewhere. In response, The National Islamic Bank was created by Hamas as a means to disburse money to its members or people on its payroll.
The Al Aqsa TV has been critisized before, by Israel and the US, for its airing of a children show featuring a Mickey Mouse lookalike, Farfour, being beaten to death by Israeli interrogators and being depicted as a martyr.
Al-Aqsa Television is part of Hamas's media campaign for political dominance over Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's secular Fatah faction.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2011. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None