Hackers from the militant Palestinian group, Hamas, interrupted the Big Brother Israeli version for up to 3 minutes, showing their version of reality television.
Most viewers were anticipating a good show as three of the most popular housemates were up for eviction, but as viewers were tuned in to watch their favourite show, their screens suddenly changed and there was what appeared to be Hamas propaganda videos showing dead bodies and carrying a lot of warnings in the Hebrew language. The video simply urged Israelis to “learn from the past”.
There was loud music in the background and the clip also accused Israelis of murdering Palestinian women and school children in cold blood. Recent attacks by Palestinians against the Israeli people were also included in the three-minute footage. Animated characters running their cars into Israeli bus stops or stabbing Israeli soldiers on the neck was also another feature that was predominant in the clip.
The subtitles which were in Hebrew appeared on the screen in red in which the writing stated, ” The year started in Tel Aviv” which was probably a reference to the New Year’s day attack by Arab-Israeli Nashat Milhem, who gunned down patrons in a bar on Tel Aviv’s central Dizengoff street. They also put a reminder after that claiming; “Now we are back on Dizengoff so stay at home, this story is not over.”
This is not the first such incident where the Hamas group, which the US considers to be a terrorist group, has managed to penetrate the Israeli Channel Two’s broadcast feed. In July 2014, before the start of the summer war between the two groups, Israel and the Hamas group, some hackers possibly from Hamas broke into broadcasts telling Israeli viewers in Hebrew:
“Prepare yourselves for a prolonged stay in the bomb shelters.” It also went on further to urge mothers not to let their sons go to war warning that, “If you don’t want your sons to be captured or killed in Gaza, hurry to call them home.”
The Big Brother hack is however speculated that it was in retaliation of that which the Israeli army conducted on Thursday night in Ramallah which apparently closed down a Palestinian TV and radio station which is linked to the Palestinian group, Islamic Jihad. The Israeli army claimed that the channel was broadcasting inciting material.
In a cabinet meeting held on Sunday, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israel was “taking action against media channels that encourage the murder of Israelis and Jews.” He said that he had urged the French President, Francois Hollande to take the Hams Al-Aqsa channel which apparently uses French satellite communications provider Eutelsat, off the air. Mr Netanyahu said, “There is no question here of freedom of the press, but of halting incitement to murder.”