France's Higher Audiovisual Council (CSA) issued a warning to the channel on 30 November calling for it to "respect its legal and conventional obligations,". The body decided to act further at a plenary meeting on Tuesday.

 

The CSA addressed a letter to the president of the Lebanese Communication Group, which controls Al-Manar, quoting remarks broadcast by the station last Thursday which said Israel had exported Aids to the Middle East.

The comments were described as "liable to constitute incitement to hatred or violence" by the CSA.

 

The media body will hear representatives of Al-Manar in a plenary session on 17 December, it said, as part of the procedure that could eventually lead to it being taken off the air.

 

French values

 

Al-Manar had received a conditional green light from the CSA to begin broadcasting in France by satellite on 19 November.

 

French PM Raffarin has called for
Al-Manar to be taken off air 

On 23 November, monitors recorded an "expert on affairs relative to the Zionist entity" who in a press review spoke of "Zionist attempts to transmit dangerous diseases like Aids via exports to Arab states". 
 

French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin last Thursday called for the channel to be taken off the air because its programmes were "incompatible with our values".

Al-Manar in turn alleged Zionist attempts to stir up problems for France in the Muslim world.

 

It accused Israel of mounting an unprecedented campaign to prevent it from broadcasting in Europe, to keep it "from revealing to European viewers, to foreign residents in Europe, the reality of the situation, the crimes against humanity perpetrated by Israel, both in occupied Palestine and across the world".