Moataz Matar, an Egyptian former TV sports presenter who has 4.22 million YouTube subscribers and millions more on other social media platforms, conducted a live interview last Friday with Abdelhakim Hanini, a convicted terrorist who co-founded Hamas’s murderous Al Qassam brigade in the West Bank in the 1990s.
In the 15-minute interview, Hanini said those who “neo-Nazi Zionist enemy” should be made to feel there is “no safety for them”.
He added that all Muslims were obliged to “take to the streets” in support of the October 7 atrocities, which he described as “a heroic act that our Muslim and Arab world has never seen before, and the enemy has never seen before since the Holocaust of Hitler.”
Hamas is proscribed in UK law as a terrorist organisation, which means it is a criminal offence to support or encourage it, or to provide a platform for such expressions.
Now resident in Qatar, Hanini was freed from prison by Israel in 2011 after 18 years when it swapped 1,000 terrorists for the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.
The JC first exposed Matar in April, when he revealed that he was forced to flee Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood government he supported, led by Mohammed Morsi, was toppled in 2013.
Matar, 48, initially settled in Turkey but came to Britain in December 2021, by which time he already had a long history of support for terrorism and Jew-hatred.
It is not known what type of visa he has managed to obtain. Home Office minister Robert Jenrick has pledged that foreign nationals who disseminate extremism in Britain will be deported.
Many of Matar’s broadcasts made while based here fully merit that description.
Among many examples, he celebrated the murders of the wife and daughters of Rabbi Leo Dee in the West Bank earlier this year as an “operation by the resistance”, and in another video — revealed by the JC last week — described the October 7 attacks by Hamas as marking “the happiest day of my life”.
After the JC’s first article in April, Arabic-speaking researcher Khaled Hassan submitted a dossier containing details and translations of Matar’s broadcasts and posts issued while he has lived in Britain to counter-terror police, but did not receive an acknowledgement. Asked about this by the JC, the police have failed to respond.
However, Matar’s interview with Hanini marks a new high watermark of extremism.
Hanini told his audience: “The heroes of Gaza are ready and prepared, and… are ready and their hands are on the trigger, the missiles, and their rockets which reach far into the cities of the occupation. The word is that of the battlefield, jihad, persistence, resistance and sacrifice.”
Israel, Hanini said, was “twisting due to the strength of the hits by the Mujahideen there. Yes, the battle is cruel and hard, but not for the Mujahideen.” Hanini attacked Arab governments that had not offered their support.
Asked by Matar if he had a message for his viewers while “the hyenas of the world have their claws around Gaza”, he replied in terms that explicitly encouraged violence:
“If there’s a need for a word for our Arab and Muslim nations… it is carry out jihad with your money, selves, in the path of Allah… erupt to the embassies, the embassies of the enemy and its allies in your Arab and Muslim capitals, surround them, make those allies and occupiers feel that there’s no safety for them, and that there’s no safety for their interests, no safety for their trade, no safety for anything that belongs to them, as long as they are supporting this neo-Nazi, as long as they are supporting this new Holocaust which is exercised by the occupation army and the Zionist enemy against our Palestinian people in the beloved strip of Gaza.”
Matar ended the interview by thanking Hanini and offering “sincerest prayers from the bottom of my heart for our people in Gaza, and for the resistance and on the heads of all the free people of the world. May God help you persist.”