Global News

Israel seeks to silence Jazeera

Israel seeks to silence Jazeera

Israel's ministry of communications says it plans to close the pan-Arab Al Jazeera news network and ban its journalists from reporting in the country.

Israel also wants to shut down Al Jazeera's cable and satellite transmissions in the country, the network reported.

Israel announced on Sunday its intention to close the offices of Al-Jazeera, accused by the authorities of engaging in "incitement" to violence, announced that the israeli ministry of Communications.

Jordan and Saudi Arabia have recently closed Al-Jazeera's local offices, while the channel and its affiliate sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.

"I have appealed to law enforcement agencies several times to close the Al Jazeera office in Jerusalem", Netanyahu said at the time.

These countries have broken the 5 June with Qatar accusing it of supporting "terrorism" and require, among other things, to normalize their relations, the closure of Al-Jazeera.

"This attack on Al Jazeera is really an attack on all critical independent journalism".

Al Jazeera has condemned the decision.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accuses the broadcaster of "incitement". "Freedom of expression is not freedom to incite".

Walid al-Omari, the broadcaster's bureau chief in Jerusalem, said on air that his office has not been informed by Israeli officials of any possible measures the government might take. He claimed that the network was being used by groups to incite violence in Jerusalem.

Israel has regularly accused the broadcaster of bias in its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Al Jazeera, which launched in 1996, was barred from the news conference.

Qatar's Arabic-language news channel first launched in 1996, and shook up the media landscape in the Middle East by airing criticisms of governments and rulers in the region.

Protests erupted at the contentious site, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), after Israel last month installed new security measures including metal detectors, following the killing of two Israeli policemen by three Israeli Arab attackers who shot them using weapons smuggled onto the holy site.

The Foreign Press Association, which represents journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories for global news organizations, said the move "is certainly a cause for concern".


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