Published June 29, 2007
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – A Mickey Mouse lookalike who preached Islamic domination on a Hamas-affiliated children's television program was beaten to death in the show's final episode Friday.
In the final skit, "Farfour" was killed by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour's land. At one point, the mouse called the Israeli a "terrorist."
"Farfour was martyred while defending his land," said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed "by the killers of children," she added.
The weekly show, featuring a giant black-and-white rodent with a high-pitched voice, had attracted worldwide attention because the character urged Palestinian children to fight Israel. It was broadcast on Hamas-affiliated Al Aqsa TV.
Station officials said Friday that Farfour was taken off the air to make room for new programs. Station manager Mohammed Bilal said he did not know what would be shown instead.
Israeli officials have denounced the program, "Tomorrow's Pioneers," as incendiary and outrageous. The program was also opposed by the state-run Palestinian Broadcasting Corp., which is controlled by Fatah, Hamas' rival.