TV talent show banned by Hamas
Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 19-01-2012
Gazans have been banned by Hamas from participating in a television talent show called New Star, the show's organisers have claimed.
There have already been two series of the popular singing show, which attracted Palestinian and Arab Israeli contestants from both Gaza and the West Bank, and the search for talent for the third series began in December.
Now organisers say that the Hamas information ministry has officially contacted Maan, New Star's co-production company, to halt the show because 'it violates our customs and traditions.'
Raed Othman, director, Maan, told AFP: "About a month ago, we brought together around 130 boys and one girl in Gaza and they sang. A special jury watching via videoconference picked 13 of them.
"We were in contact with the Hamas government's information ministry and prepared a place for auditions to pick the best contestants from the 13.
"But then we got the official communication...saying the programme was being shut down," he added.
Hamas has not confirmed the allegations.
New Star is produced by Maan and the Arab-Israeli TV channel Mix.