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Israel Passes Law To Ban Al-Jazeera, Calls It A “Terrorist Channel”

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The Israeli parliament has passed a bill granting the government the authority to prohibit TV station broadcasts, including the network owned by Qatar, Al Jazeera. The measure permitting foreign networks deemed a threat to national security to be “temporarily” blocked was approved by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, declared he would “act immediately” to shut down the network’s local headquarters. Concerns were raised about the decision by the US.

Al Jazeera employees stationed in the Gaza Strip are among the only reporters allowed to cover the conflict firsthand because international media are prohibited from accessing the region.

Al-Jazeera a “terrorist channel”

The prohibition would remain in effect for 45 days at a time, with the option to extend it. The law would be in effect until the end of the major combat in Gaza, or in July.

“Al Jazeera will no longer be broadcast from Israel,” Netanyahu referred to Twitter/X as a “terrorist channel” in a post.

Israeli officials have been accusing the network of anti-Israeli bias for years. However, following the October 7 Hamas attacks, their criticism of the channel has become more intense. Authorities assert that it has intimate ties to Hamas, an accusation that Al Jazeera categorically disputes.

Charges on Israel

Al Jazeera issued the following statement: “Netanyahu could not find any justifications to offer the world something in exchange for his continuous attacks on press freedom and Al Jazeera, other than to produce new lies and provocative slanders against the Network and the rights of its employees. Al Jazeera holds the Israeli Prime Minister responsible for the safety of its staff and Network premises around the world, following his incitement and this false accusation in a disgraceful manner.”

Israel has been charged by the channel with intentionally targeting its employees. Israeli strikes have claimed the lives of several journalists, including Hamza Al-Dahdouh, the son of Wael Al-Dahdouh, the head of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau. Israel disputes that it targets reporters.

Talks between Israel and Hamas on the nearly six-month-long conflict are being mediated by Qatar, the home of Al Jazeera’s headquarters. Prior talks that Qatar brokered resulted in the release of 105 Israeli captives and a brief ceasefire.

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