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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2007, 04:39 GMT 05:39 UK
Palestinian Hamas takes Mickey
Mickey Mouse
The real thing. But Hamas' Farfur is strikingly similar
A TV station run by Palestinian militant group Hamas is using a cartoon rodent in the image of Disney's Mickey Mouse to carry its political message.

The black-and-white character called Farfur appears on the children's show Tomorrow's Pioneers on al-Aqsa TV.

An Israeli media monitoring group said Farfur was teaching "Islamic supremacy and hatred of Israel and the US".

Palestinian Broadcasting, controlled by Hamas' political rival Fatah, said Farfur was not "professional".

The corporation's Abu Sumaya told the Associated Press news agency: "Children's nationalist spirit must be developed differently.

"I don't think it's professional or even humane to use children in such harsh political programmes."

Hamas shares political power in the Palestinian Authority with Fatah but refuses to accept Israel's right to exist.

Female companion

In a recent episode, AP reported, Farfur said: "We will return the Islamic community to its former greatness and liberate Jerusalem, God willing, liberate Iraq, God willing."

The Israeli organisation, Palestinian Media Watch, said the character took "every opportunity to indoctrinate young viewers with teachings of Islamic supremacy".

The group says Farfur has a female companion character called Saraa who reminds children about Palestinian prisoners.

"Allah will ask us on Resurrection Day what we gave for their sake," she says.

The television station has not replied to the accusations and Walt Disney has not yet commented on any copyright infringements.

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