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Kids TV causes a stir in Israel -

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ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: A children's television program regularly features disturbing topics such as
death, destruction and martyrdom. It's broadcast by the Islamist militant group Hamas which
controls the Gaza Strip between Israel and Egypt.

Until a ceasefire took effect last month, the children of Gaza lived amid frequent and bloody
clashes between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces. The truth is decidedly shaky: renegade
militants have fired a small number of rockets into Israel since it began and Israeli soldiers fire
into the air whenever a Palestinian gets too close to the border fence. While Israel's economic
blockade of Gaza has been relaxed, it maintains strict controls on border traffic.

Meanwhile, critics have accused Hamas of using its television arm to prepare children to be suicide
bombers.

Middle East correspondent Matt Brown reports.

MATT BROWN, REPORTER: Sarah Barhoum is no ordinary 12-year-old. This straight A student is already
a television star. Hosting her own program on a TV station run by the Islamist militant group
Hamas.

Every Friday after prayers Sarah Barhoum presents "Pioneers of Tomorrow" on Hamas's Al Azhar TV.

SARA BARHOUM, TV PRESENTER (translation): I want to tell the whole world that Palestinian children
live with the effects of s siege, killing and destruction.

MATT BROWN: Al Azhar TV's childrens' program comes with a hard propaganda edge.

In this skit, Nahoul the Bee is desperately ill and pays the ultimate price for the Israeli
blockade and Egypt's decision to cooperate with it.

SARA BARHOUM (translation): We want to show the world's children and the Palestinian children that
this is our reality and the reality of the Palestinian people.

MATT BROWN: After his death, Nahoul was replaced on the show by his rabbit brother Assud, which
means lion. Assud's fate, according to Hamas, will reflect the fate of the Palestinian people.

CALLER (translation): How come you are called Assud, even though you look like a rabbit?

ASSUD THE RABBIT, (translation): Because a rabbit is not as good and he is a coward. But I, Assud,
will get rid of the Jews. Allah willing, and I will eat them up, Allah willing, right?

MENAHEM MILSON, MIDDLE EAST MEDIA RESEARCH INSTITUTE: It idolises death and killing and what they
call martyrdom.

MATT BROWN: Al Azhar TV is not only raising the ire of Israelis, but of many Palestinians as well.

HAZEM ABU SHANAB, MEDIA STUDIES, AL AZHAR UNIVERSITY: He is not a child anymore, he's something
different. He's a person with hatred, with different emotions, with a different way of thinking.

MATT BROWN: Last year, "Pioneers of Tomorrow" featured the story of Farfour the Mouse. Farfour
received an inheritance loaded with symbolism from his dying grandfather. The key and deeds to the
home, the one they owned in Tel Aviv before Israel was created. However, then Farfour came up
against an Israeli agent.

ISRAELI AGENT (translation): Will you or will you not give us the documents, Farfour?

FARFOUR THE MOUSE (translation): I won't give them to criminal despicable terrorists.

ISRAELI AGENT (translation): You're calling us despicable terrorists, Farfour?

SARA BARHOUM (translation): Yes our beloved children, we have lost one of our best friends. He was
martyred by the hands of criminals, the murderers of innocent children.

MATT BROWN: In Jerusalem, the broadcasts are being monitored by a private think tank, the Middle
East Media Research Institute.

MENAHEM MILSON: What is particularly disturbing with this program is that it is aiming at very
young children with messages that are filled with images and expressions of death, martyrdom,
killing.

MATT BROWN: Professor Menahem Milson, a former Israeli paratrooper and intelligence officer, who's
an expert in Arabic literature, says such anti-Semitic messages are a regular feature of the
program.

MENAHEM MILSON: The aims of the indoctrination are narrowly defined. It's the repetition of certain
clichés: the filth of the Jews. The Jew is not to be trusted. He is murderous. He is deceptive.

MATT BROWN: The man in charge of Al Azhar TV, Samir Mowasen, says much of the program involves live
phone-ins and lectures on Islam and morality.

SAMIR MOWASEN, AL AQSA TV (translation): Our message through this program is to improve and
encourage the Palestinian child through the kindness of Islam to seek love and peace and have
respect for others.

MATT BROWN: Most of the children here have never been allowed to leave the Gaza Strip. Their
schools are impoverished, their grades are appalling and the way life is at the moment is all they
know.

Political children's programming an Al Azhar TV isn't limited to Sara Barhoum's show and Israelis
are not the only targets of criticism. When Hamas staged a violent takeover of Gaza last year, it
ousted the Western-backed old guard from the Fatah faction.

However, in Hamas's epic cartoon version, the Fatah men are the ones toting guns. They are the
money grubbing destroyers of Palestine and the Islamic way who had to be swept aside.

Fatah still commands the support of around a third of Gazans, and they were outraged at the
cartoon.

HAZEM ABU SHANAB: No one can imagine that a child, that the childhood, that these very tiny, good
human persons we all love and want them to be the best people in the world, there they are turning
into monsters using these terminologies and using this way of vindication.

MATT BROWN: Sarah Barhoum's bosses say she's gone from strength to strength since her television
debut last year. Her next season is expected to be even more successful. But rather than dreaming
of greater stardom, Sara Barhoum yearns for the chance to see the world

beyond Gaza.

SARA BARHOUM (translation): Of course, God willing, this day will come. We are striving for the say
we win our freedom and we'll be able to travel to other countries in the world, enjoy them and see
how the others live.

ALI MOORE: Extraordinary program. That report from Matt Brown.