Benjamin Netanyahu vows to shut down Al Jazeera in Israel

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Benjamin Netanyahu vows to shut down Al Jazeera in Israel

Lawmakers in Israel passed new legislation on Monday that allows the government to temporarily shut down foreign media outlets deemed a threat to national security. In the wake of the Israeli parliament approving the law, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to shut down Al Jazeera, saying it “will no longer broadcast from Israel.”

Netanyahu calls Al Jazeera a “terrorist channel” wrote X that he intends to take “immediate action” to stop the activity of the news channel.

Responding, the Qatar-based network, one of the most widely viewed sources of news in the Arab world, Said In part, “Al Jazeera holds the Israeli Prime Minister responsible for the security of its employees and network premises around the world following this false allegation in its provocative and outrageous manner… Al Jazeera reiterates that such reprehensible allegations We will not let that stop us from continuing our bold and professional coverage, and we reserve the right to take any legal action.”

According to new York Times, under new lawIf the Prime Minister deems a foreign media outlet to be “concretely undermining” Israel’s national security, the government can temporarily close its offices, seize its equipment, block it from Israeli cable and satellite TV providers. and block access to any of its online platforms. Owned by Israel or Israeli entities. BBC informed of This ban will last for a period of 45 days at a time, which can be renewed.

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Monday to plead strongly The Israeli government will not close Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem-based bureau and will “allow the media to report freely on news events in Israel and Gaza during the current conflict.”

“CPJ is deeply concerned by the new law authorizing the Netanyahu government to shut down Al Jazeera in Israel,” said Carlos Martínez de la Serna, the organization’s program director in New York. The law gives the government the power to shut down any foreign media outlet operating in Israel, posing a significant threat to international media within the country. This contributes to a climate of self-censorship and hostility toward the press, a trend that has increased since the Israel–Gaza war began.

Later on Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told Journalists say that if reports of Israel trying to shut down Al Jazeera are true, “such a move is worrying.” “We believe in freedom of the press; “It is important, it is extremely important and the United States supports the extremely important work that journalists do around the world.”

The BBC noted that with restrictions on foreign journalists entering Gaza, Al Jazeera staff based in the Strip are some of the only journalists able to cover the war on the ground.

The new law comes at a critical time in Israel’s relations with Qatar, which is hosting ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas. new York Times Said.

Netanyahu’s government has long had an uneasy relationship with Al Jazeera, and the Hamas-led attack on October 7 escalated those tensions. According to local broadcasters, before the war, Netanyahu was supporting a controversial media bill that was feared to harm media independence and freedom of expression.

The Israel-Hamas war has been going on for almost six months and the international tide is turning against Israel. Today, Israel has been criticized after an airstrike in Gaza killed seven people working for the food aid charity World Central Kitchen, including an American-Canadian citizen.

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