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Hamas TV station to replace 'martyred' mouse

Staff writers and wires  |
A HAMAS television station that last week killed off a Mickey Mouse lookalike who urged children to fight against Israel will use other famous characters in future series, station officials have said.

Al-Aqsa TV broadcast on Friday the final episode of the children's program Tomorrow's Pioneers, starring Farfur, whose teachings about world Islamic domination, anti-Semitism and violence drew international outrage after Palestinian Media Watch aired them in May.

The New York Daily News has dubbed the character "Terror Mouse," while Walt Disney's daughter Diane described it as "pure evil."

In its latest bulletin, PMW aired details of the show's final episode in which the squeaky-voiced Farfur receives land documents from his grandfather.

The episode ended when an Israeli investigator tried to force Farfur to give up the key and the papers that his grandfather had given him.

When Farfur refused, the Israeli beat Farfur to death.

While Farfur's death was not shown to the child viewers, the hostess of the show, Saraa, sadly announced his demise to the children: "Yes, our children friends, we lost our dearest friend, Farfur."

"Farfur turned to a martyr while protecting his land. He turned into a martyr at the hands of the criminals, and murderers, the murderers of the innocent children," she told viewers.

The presenter then spoke to a three-year-old child caller named Shaimaa who said: "We don't like the Jews because they are dogs! We will fight them!"

The latest episode is sure to prompt further outrage.

The Palestinian Authority had promised to immediately suspend the show in response to international condemnation in May, but allowed it to air for another week.

It was suspended during the violence in Gaza before resuming for the final grizzly episode.

Mohammad Saeed, the director of production at Al-Aqsa Television, said the station would use other famous cartoon characters in future shows.

"Farfur was a story alive and he has turned into another story as a (martyr)," Mr Saeed said.

- The Australian and Reuters