Scarcely a day goes by without Hamas’s American and European apologists claiming that there is now no money in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Hamas plans to build $200m. Hollywood-style media city (AP, Nov. 7, 2007)
It’s a tale worthy of its own movie script: The Gaza Strip’s isolated and cash-strapped Hamas rulers plan to build a $200 million media city and movie production house that will be part tourist attraction and part effort to cement control of the territory it seized by force in June.
… Hamas envisions a glittering facility with production and graphics studios, satellite technology, gardens, water ponds, a children’s entertainment area and an array of cafes and restaurants, said the Felasteen daily, a Hamas paper.
… Hamas launched a satellite channel last year, offering bearded young men reading the news, and Islamic music layered over footage of masked militants firing rockets into Israel. Hamas loyalists also run at least five news Web sites, two newspapers and a radio station.
Some previous Hamas productions have generated unflattering headlines. In one show last year, a high-pitched Mickey Mouse lookalike called Farfour preached Islamic domination to children.
… Talal Okal, a Palestinian political writer close to Hamas, said the announcement was an important first step toward obtaining full control over the media. “Hamas realizes the importance of the media,” Okal said.
Under Hamas, press freedom is limited in Gaza. On Tuesday, Hamas police stormed the house of reporter Hisham Sakallah, an editor of a local news Web site [which does not follow the Hamas line], and confiscated his computer and archives.