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Hamas radio now broadcasting in Israel, thanks to Hezbollah: report

Construction workers set up a wall along the Israeli border with Lebanon, in the costal town of Naqoura, south Lebanon, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.
AP Photo/Hussein Malla

Hamas, the Islamist government of the Gaza Strip, has reportedly constructed a radio broadcasting tower in southern Lebanon capable of reaching as far south into Israel as Tel Aviv.

The tower was built in cooperation with Hezbollah, the sophisticated, Iran-backed terror group operating in Syria and Lebanon.

The Hamas-run Al-Aqsa radio tower is located on the Lebanese side of the border across from the Israeli town of Zar’it, according to Israeli satellite imagery company Sat View.

Nissan Cohen, Sat View’s CEO, told Israel’s Army Radio on Sunday that “three media outlets turned to us an 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 its coming from there.”

The tower was sending a “very, very powerful” signal, according to Cohen.

Israelis as far south as Tel Aviv could hear Al-Aqsa, according to the report.

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Several hours before the report was published, the Israeli Defense Forces announced on Sunday the imminent end of the operation to locate and destroy cross-border attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah into Israeli territory, after finding the sixth and final tunnel on Saturday.

Operation Northern Shield will be officially concluded after the sixth tunnel is destroyed, IDF spokesperson Ronen Manalis told reporters during a Sunday briefing.

The briefing made no mention of the radio tower discovery, which is reportedly located near at least one site from which tunnels were dug into Israeli territory.

The IDF has laid blame on the Lebanese government for the Hezbollah tunnels, asserting that “the Lebanese government is responsible for everything happening in its territory.

In November, the Al-Aqsa TV building in central Gaza was the target of an Israeli airstrike in what the IDF called “an attack on a central government property for Hamas.”

MAHMUD HAMS (AFP)

The army said Al-Aqsa station was “used by [Hamas] for military activities, including sending messages to terrorist operatives in the West Bank, calls for terror attacks, and instructions on how to commit them.”

The station began broadcasting again a short while after the strike from an undisclosed location.

The United States classified the news outlet as a terrorist entity in 2010.

The channel broadcasts “incitement against the State of Israel and its citizens,” according to the IDF statement.

It said the station is "owned and operated by Hamas."

“The IDF is determined to fulfill its mission of defending Israeli citizens, and is prepared and ready for a variety of scenarios, as necessary,” it added.

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