Netanyahu promises to ban Al Jazeera broadcasts in Israel

Netanyahu promises to ban Al Jazeera broadcasts in Israel
Netanyahu promises to ban Al Jazeera broadcasts in Israel
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The law, passed by a vote of 70 to 10, not only gives the right to ban the broadcasting of content from foreign channels deemed a national threat, but also allows them to close their offices in Israel.

On Monday, shortly after the law was passed, Netanyahu referred to Qatar-based Al Jazeera, with which the prime minister’s government is at odds over the war between the Jewish state and the Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“Terrorist channel Al Jazeera will no longer broadcast from Israel. I intend to take immediate action under the new law to stop the channel,” the prime minister said on the X social network.

The broadcaster condemned the ban as “part of systematic Israeli attacks aimed at silencing Al Jazeera, including the May 2022 raid that killed a well-known journalist in the region.”

Al Jazeera said in a statement that Netanyahu had launched a “vicious” and “shameful” campaign of accusations against the broadcaster. But despite the allegations, Al Jazeera says it plans to continue educating its users about the war in the Palestinian enclave.

Since the start of the war, two of the channel’s correspondents have been killed in the Gaza Strip, and its headquarters in the besieged Palestinian enclave was bombed.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the law contributes to censorship and hostility that has intensified since the start of the war between the Jewish state and Hamas.

At least 95 journalists and media workers have been killed since the start of the war following an unprecedented attack by Hamas on October 7, “the deadliest period since CPJ began collecting data in 1992,” according to CPJ.

In January, Israel said an Al Jazeera journalist and another freelancer killed in an airstrike in the Gaza Strip were “terrorist agents”.

He later said another channel journalist wounded in a separate strike was a Hamas “deputy squad leader.”

Al Jazeera strongly denied the allegations and accused Israel of systematically targeting Al Jazeera staff in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas said in a statement that the ban showed Israel was “desperate to cover up the truth about its terrible crimes.”

The White House said on Monday it was concerned about a possible move by Israel to ban Al Jazeera’s broadcasts in the country.

“I will reach out to Israel about what they may or may not be considering,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “If that’s true, that’s a worrying move.”

“Independent News Channel”

Broadcasting in English and Arabic, Al Jazeera bills itself as “the first independent news channel in the Arab world.”

The channel, which started its activities in Doha in 1996, has more than 70 offices around the world, 3 thousand. employees and many viewers 430 million households.

Qatar, which funds Al Jazeera, is also home to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

Tensions between Israel and Al Jazeera increased further after the start of the war between the Jewish state and Hamas in the Gaza Strip last October.

Wael al-Dahdouh, head of Al Jazeera’s bureau in the Palestinian territories, was also injured in an Israeli strike that killed the broadcaster’s cameraman in December.

His wife, two children and a grandson were killed last October when Israel shelled the central Gaza refugee camp in Nuseirat.

His eldest son, a journalist for Al Jazeera, was killed earlier this year after his car was fired upon in Rafah.

The war in the Gaza Strip began with an unprecedented attack by Hamas on October 7, in which about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, were killed in Israel, according to official figures.

The Islamist militants also took about 250 hostages, of whom Israel believes about 130 remain in Gaza, including 33 believed to be dead.

Israel’s retaliatory campaign has killed at least 32,845 people, mostly women and children, according to figures from the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.


The article is in Lithuanian

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