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Netanyahu announces closure of Al-Jazeera channel in Israel

The Israeli government has "decidedé à unanimously" to "close in Israelël" the Qatari channel Al-Jazeera, announced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a message on X, without further details on the measures taken.

Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi affirmed on X that he “immediately signed the injunction against Al-Jazeera” which “comes into force immediately.”

He added that he had ensured that Al-Jazeera “could no longer operate from Israel” and accused the channel of “threatening the security” of the country.

An order seizure of the channel's equipment, signed by Mr. Karhi, was published immediately.

Netanyahu announces closure of Al-Jazeera channel in Israel

A screen shows the message broadcast by the Qatari channel Al-Jazeera: “In accordance with the government's decision, broadcasts of the Al Jazeera channel have been suspended in Israel”, on May 5 in Jerusalem © AFP – RONALDO SCHEMIDT

According to this document, instructions are given to enter “equipment used to broadcast the channel's content”, detailed in a list which includes cameras, microphones, editing tables, computer servers, computers , transmission equipment and mobile phones.

The director of Al-Jazeera's bureau in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Walid al-Omari, told the channel that the Israeli decision included “stopping the broadcast of Al-Jazeera in Israel, in Arabic and in English and the closure of Al-Jazeera offices within Israel's borders”, as well as “the seizure of materials” and the cutting off of access to the channel's websites from Israel.

“This decision comes after a campaign (…) by far-right ministers” in the Israeli government, he said.

– “Propaganda” –

The Israeli military has repeatedly claimed that Al-Jazeera journalists are “terrorist agents “affiliated with the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

< img alt = "pool" src = "https://img-4.linternaux.com/jvmbvu4okztjfbbbkdjqzqsl0i=/600x/smart/734c98f3c46c4094b62a203f78a0d0a2/ccmcms-lintern JPG " />Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, March 17, 2024 in Jerusalem © POOL – Leo Correa

The channel denies these accusations and accuses Israel of systematically targeting its employees in the Gaza Strip. At least two Al-Jazeera journalists have been killed there since the war began on October 7 and its Gaza bureau chief was injured.

Parliament Israeli voted at the beginning of April a law to prohibit the broadcast in Israel of foreign media that undermine state security, a text targeting the Qatari channel.

This text, approved according to an accelerated procedure and by a very large majority (70 for, 10 against), allows the Prime Minister to prohibit the broadcast of the media in question and to close its offices.

Mr. Netanyahu has in the past accused Al-Jazeera of being “a propaganda organ of Hamas and of having actively participated” in the bloody attack carried out on October 7 by the Palestinian movement in southern Israel.

This attack resulted in the death of more than 1,170 people, according to an AFP report based on official Israeli data.

The vast military operation carried out in retaliation by Israel in the Gaza Strip left 34,683 dead, mostly civilians, according to a latest report from the Hamas Ministry of Health.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116