Netanyahu vows to ban on Al Jazeera broadcasts in Israel

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  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to shut down the ‘terrorist channel’, which Israel has consistently targeted since the beginning of the Gaza conflict. Following a 70-to-10 vote, he now holds the authority to ban their broadcasts and close their offices within the country

TEL AVIV – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to ban broadcasts from news channel Al Jazeera within Israel. This move comes after lawmakers granted him the authority to do so. The potential ban marks a fresh escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel’s government and the Qatari channel, particularly during Israel’s war with Hamas militants in Gaza.

Netanyahu stated on X (formerly Twitter), “The terrorist channel Al Jazeera will no longer broadcast from Israel. I intend to act immediately in accordance with the new law to stop the channel’s activities.

Al-Jazeera channel s Jerusalem office

The White House responded with caution to the proposed broadcast ban, with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stating, “I will defer to Israel regarding what they may or may not be contemplating. If such a move is indeed being considered, it would be a cause for concern.”

The law giving Netanyahu this authority, which passed on Monday by 70 votes to 10, carries the power to ban the broadcast of content from foreign channels but also allows the closing of their offices in Israel. Netanyahu’s Likud party said he asked “to make sure that the law to close Al Jazeera will be approved this evening” in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

Al Jazeera condemned what it called “dangerous” moves by the Israeli government to ban the Qatar-based news channel amid a long-running battle over its reporting intensified by coverage of the Gaza war.

Al Jazeera has fiercely denied Israel’s accusations and accused Israel of systematically targeting Al Jazeera employees in the Gaza Strip. Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in the Palestinian territory, Wael al-Dahdouh, was wounded in an Israeli strike in December, that also killed the network’s cameraman.

 

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