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Netanyahu Shuts Down Al Jazeera Offices in Israel

Last Updated on May 5, 2024

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Cabinet, on a unanimous vote on Sunday, decided to close down the Al Jazeera broadcast station in Israel.

According to The Hill, Netanyahu said, “The government headed by me unanimously decided: the incitement channel Al Jazeera will be closed in Israel.”

Al Jazeera responded by denying the accusation, reported The Associated Press, although the outlet based in Qatar stands as really the last beacon of a non-Zionist perspective.

The AP also noted that the English broadcast is similar to major networks, but its Arabic version allegedly publishes straight verbatim from Hamas and other Islamic militant groups. However, that claim has not been sourced by the AP or backed up.

Al Jazeera released a statement about the Israel ban on Sunday.

Al Jazeera posted a statement on X, stating Netanyahu’s Cabinet move was “banning media service providers from transmitting its broadcasts and blocking Al Jazeera Media Network websites.” It also remarked that this comes on World Press Freedom Day, calling the move a “criminal act that violates human rights and the basic right to access to information.”

Al Jazeera then accuses Israel of the “killing of journalists” and “arrests” during the war on Gaza. It finally stated that it would pursue all legal avenues and that “Targeting journalists is a crime.”

The Hill admits that the effects of Netayanhu’s cabinet are not so evident. However, the AP reported that Al Jazeera broadcasted how the effects would weigh on its operations in Israel.

 

One correspondent said it would not affect the coverage of the Palestinian territories. Another said the order blocked the channel from “holding offices or operating them” in Israel and that the website would ultimately blocked in Israel. Senior political analyst for Al Jazeera, Marwan Bishara, said this move proves that Israel “is not a democratic state.”

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The decision by Netanyhu’s cabinet to censor an adversarial press comes on the heels of cease-fire talk, which, ironically, Qatar is trying to broker between Israel and Hamas. One can imagine that Israel seems unwilling to talk after censoring Al Jazeera.

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