Hamas starts broadcasting into Israel, with a little help from Hezbollah

Gaza terror group’s Al-Aqsa radio station reportedly transmitting from tower on Lebanese border, can be heard as far south as Tel Aviv

Illustrative: IDF reservists patrolling along the Lebanese border near the Israeli village of Zar'it. (Roy Sharon/Flash90)
Illustrative: IDF reservists patrolling along the Lebanese border near the Israeli village of Zar'it. (Roy Sharon/Flash90)

Al-Aqsa radio, the Gaza-based station run by the Hamas terror group, has reportedly begun broadcasting into Israel through a powerful broadcasting tower set up along the Israeli-Lebanese border.

The tower was put up in cooperation with the Iran-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, an Israeli satellite imagery company said.

It is located across the border from the Israeli village of Zar’it, near the Lebanese villages of Marwahin and Ramyeh.

Nissan Cohen, CEO of Sat View, told Army Radio on Sunday that “three media outlets turned to us and said there was something disrupting [their broadcasts] on frequency 101.6 [FM]. So we went to check. We followed [the broadcasts] north, got to the Lebanese border and realized it’s coming from there.”

The tower near Marwahin was sending a “very, very powerful” signal, Cohen said.

According to the report, the signal was being received by radio listeners as far south as Tel Aviv.

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The report came as the IDF announced Sunday that its effort to find and destroy Hezbollah cross-border attack tunnels was coming to an end, following the discovery of another such underground passage over the weekend very close to the believed location of the broadcasting tower, near the village of Ramyeh.

On December 4, the IDF launched Operation Northern Shield to find tunnels that it says the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group had dug into northern Israel from towns in southern Lebanon.

The military confirmed discovering at least six tunnels during the month-long operation.

Israeli troops search for attack tunnels dug into Israel from southern Lebanon that the Israeli military believes Hezbollah planned to use in future wars, in January 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)

An IDF official said the military also noted that Hezbollah had stopped digging along the northern border during the past month, since the start of Operation Northern Shield.

Israel has said it believes the tunnels were meant to be used by the Shiite terrorist group as a surprise component of an opening salvo in a future war, to allow dozens or hundreds of its fighters into Israel, alongside a mass infiltration of operatives above-ground and the launching of rockets, missiles, and mortar shells at northern Israel.

The news also came as tensions between Israel and Hamas were at a two-month high after rocket fire at Israeli villages on Saturday was followed by an Israeli airstrike against two Hamas installations in northern Gaza on Saturday night.

This picture taken on January 11, 2019 shows a view of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces across the Gaza-Israel border fence. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

On Sunday, a Hamas spokesman warned against a “dangerous escalation.”

“The continued acts of folly by the occupation against the peace protesters” along the border fence, “[Israel’s] intentional killing of the protesters, and the fire at Hamas targets are a dangerous escalation, playing with fire, that won’t bring security to the enemy and its settlers,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.

Israel “will suffer the consequences,” he warned.

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