Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Telegram Messaging App Restricts Access to Hamas Channels

Michael Bihlmayer / IMAGO / ТАСС

The popular messaging app Telegram, founded by Russian-born tech entrepreneur Pavel Durov, has partially restricted access to the accounts of Hamas militants and their affiliates, Russian media reported Tuesday.

Android users have been notified that they are no longer able to access the channels of Hamas and its military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, in line with Google Play rules, according to the state-run news agency TASS.

Those restrictions reportedly did not impact access to the accounts of Izzat al-Rishq, who is a member of Hamas’ political bureau, Palestine’s Sunni militants Islamic Jihad and the Lebanese Shiite militants Hezbollah, all of which remain accessible to Apple users.

Telegram founder Durov earlier this month refused to remove the Hamas account from Telegram, saying his subscription-based platform serves as a “unique source of first-hand information” and does not “amplify propaganda.”

“While it would be easy for us to destroy this source of information, doing so risks exacerbating an already dire situation,” Durov wrote in an Oct. 13 post.

Google, which runs the open-source operating system Android, has not commented on the restrictions.

According to TASS, Telegram offers Android users the option to download a “special client” that restores access to “all blocked channels” on the platform.

Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,400 people, kidnapping over 200 people and triggering retaliatory Israeli strikes that have so far killed more than 5,000 people in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has threatened to launch a ground offensive in Gaza to eradicate Hamas.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more