Jordan trade unions urge France to revoke Hamas TV ban

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Jordan's Islamist-dominated trade unions urged France on Thursday to revoke an "unjust" decision to block broadcasts by the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa television channel for alleged incitement.

"The unjust ban will kill Palestinian voices of freedom that seek resistance to the Zionist occupation," said a letter addressed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy handed in by union representatives to the French embassy in Amman.

"It also means that France, which we highly respect, would bow down before Israel and the United States."

Jordan's 14 unions, which group more than 200,000 members, said France "should support all liberation movements in the world."

"The French people have fought against occupation of their country and liberated it. Now the Palestinian people are trying to do the same," said the letter, a copy of which was made available to AFP.

Earlier this month the French government ordered Eutelsat, which broadcasts Al-Aqsa through an agreement with Bahrain-based Noorsat, to take the channel off the air after receiving a complaint from the European Commission that it violated rules on incitement.

Last week the station was told it would no longer be carried by the French-based satellite provider Eutelsat because of its "incitement to hatred," a move that would deprive it of 70 percent of its audience.

Al-Aqsa TV deputy head Mohammed al-Thuraya said on Tuesday the station was in talks with France over the ban.

"We do not incite hatred or anti-Semitism, and we have the right to defend the Palestinian struggle," he told AFP.

© 2010 AFP

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