Israeli technicians hacked into the programming at the Hamas-owned Al-Aqsa TV station this week and broadcast violent images in a warning to viewers about what might happen to them. The intention was clearly to incite the Palestinians against any resistance to Israel’s offensive against the Gaza Strip.
The images were of tanks, warplanes firing missiles and Israeli soldiers pointing their rifles, with flaming buildings for dramatic effect. One journalist reported that subtitles exclaimed: “You thought you were prepared, but you have not prepared for such force!”
This is not the first time that the Israelis have used Palestinian media to issue their warnings to the people of Gaza. They also used Hamas’s Sout Al-Aqsa radio station recently to warn people not to go near “Hamas elements and institutions”. Mobile telephones have also been used to circulate similar warnings.
The Gaza correspondent for Quds Press, for example, received a text message on his telephone telling him: “In the near future Israel plans to destroy the Gaza Strip’s entire central infrastructure including electricity, water, and oil installations, and wheat stations.” The “Sender” was described as “Jihad News” to convey the impression that it had come from a bona fide media organisation.