Huge Hezbollah radio antenna broadcasts Hamas propaganda deep into Israel
Israel files complaint with international telecom organization after listeners complain Al Aqsa radio inciting terror can be heard as far south as Tel Aviv
The Hezbollah terror group has put up a giant antenna in Lebanon broadcasting a Hamas-run radio station south into Israel, urging Arab citizens to carry out terror attacks, Israeli authorities said this week.
Israel in February said that that Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, was using its Al Aqsa TV channel to coordinate attacks in the West Bank with on-air cues, after the IDF bombed the network’s Gaza headquarters in December.
But some two months ago, Hezbollah built the antenna at a Lebanese army base in the southern Lebanese village of Marwahin to broadcast the network’s radio hundreds of kilometers into Israel and as far as the Tel Aviv area, Channel 12 reported Tuesday night.
The antenna is so close to the Israeli border that the TV network was able to publish footage of armed soldiers guarding the antenna.
The radio is being blasted into Israel at the frequency 101.6FM, very close to that of an Israeli radio station that broadcasts on 101.5FM. The latter station has many Arab Israeli listeners and has received several complaints lately about the disruptions to its broadcasts.
Al-Aqsa TV’s reporters have frequently extolled violence against Israelis and rocket attacks on the Jewish state.
The report said the broadcasts can be heard clearly in jails in northern and central Israel, and that the radio has conveyed several messages to Hamas prisoners in recent weeks.
Israeli prisons have recently seen severe protests and a hunger strike by Hamas inmates after the Israel Prisons Service installed cellular jamming devices in the wards to prevent prisoners from using smuggled cellphones. The IPS said some 300 contraband cellphones, some carrying messages between terror cells, had been smuggled into the wards in recent months. The cellphones were being used to coordinate terror attacks, and had been implicated in at least 14 recent attempts at coordinating attacks from inside Israeli prisons, the IPS said.
The hunger strike came to an end earlier this week after Israeli officials reportedly agreed to install public telephones in their prison wards.
Israel’s Communications Ministry said: “We checked and found that the transmitter is located in Lebanese territory, about three kilometers from the border. The ministry has filed an official complaint with the International Telecommunication Union, and it has been transferred to Lebanese authorities.”
The Shin Bet security service in February accused Al-Aqsa TV and Gaza-based journalists of acting as agents of Hamas’s military wing, passing clandestine messages to terror operatives in the West Bank and East Jerusalem by using quotes from the Quran or subtle gestures by the presenters.
The Shin Bet said the plot was a key factor in the decision made by the Israel Defense Forces to bomb Al-Aqsa TV’s headquarters in Gaza in November.
Shortly after the razing of the station’s building, the Hamas-affiliated outlet appeared poised to close, but was kept on air at the last minute, broadcasting from another location, thanks to an influx of money from the terror group.
In 2010, the US government designated the station a terror group. Last month, Israel followed in its tracks and also blacklisted the network.
Israel has also long accused Hamas and other terror groups of using the special status granted to journalists as a cover for nefarious activities.