US to punish Arab sat channels for ‘inciting hatred’

Members of the US Senate are currently debating proposed legislation aimed at adding countries to Washington’s "terrorism watch list" for broadcasting satellite television channels that promote hatred of and violence against the US.

The bill specifically mentions Al-Aqsa satellite channel, associated with Palestinian resistance group Hamas; Al-Manar channel, belonging to Lebanese resistance movement Hezbullah; and the Al-Zawra’a and Al-Rafedain satellite stations.

US Congress approved the bill last year, with 395 votes in favor, three against and 27 abstentions. The bill was then referred to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee for ratification.

The bill will oblige the US president to submit a yearly report to congress on Middle Eastern countries found to be "inciting hatred" against the US in their media, upon which sanctions can then be imposed on the countries in question.

Notably, the bill also mentions Egypt’s Nilesat satellite network, along with the Arab League-managed Arabsat. A congressional research center, however, has reportedly warned the US administration that the inclusion of these two satellite networks on the list would jeopardize relations with Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Washington’s two main allies in the region.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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