Al Jazeera to be blocked in Israel

07 August, 2017, 01:10 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • It was unclear when Minister Ayoub Kara's request would take effect

Earlier on Sunday, Reuters reported that Kara chose to close the station for "supporting terrorism" and that he will "revoke press credentials of Al-Jazeera TV journalists, close their Jerusalem bureau and pull the Qatar-based station's broadcasts from local cable and satellite providers". Closing the station's office would require new legislation, the reports quoted the minister as saying.

Pan-Arab news broadcaster Al Jazeera has threatened to pursue all legal channels in response to Israel's announcement it would bar the Arabic and English networks in the country.

Israel's communications ministry said on Sunday that "nearly all countries in the region. have concluded that Al Jazeera incites terrorism and religious extremism".

Kara added that he had asked Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan to use his powers to close the station's offices in Israel, although a spokesman for Erdan said he doubted the minister had the authority to do so.

The leader of Al-Jazeera has challenged israeli accusations of bias in the coverage of the events around the holy places of Jerusalem.

Ayoub Kara, the country's communication minister, alleged Sunday during a news conference that Al Jazeera is inciting violence in its Arabic and English-language channels.

Netanyahu had said on July 27 that he wanted Al-Jazeera expelled amid tensions over a sensitive Jerusalem holy site. "This attack on Al Jazeera is really an attack on all critical independent journalism".

"We have identified media outlets that do not serve freedom of speech but endanger the security of Israel's citizens, and the main instrument has been Al Jazeera", Kara said.

"Al Jazeera stresses that it will closely watch the developments that may result from the Israeli decision, and will take the necessary legal measures towards it. Al Jazeera will continue to cover the events of occupied Palestinian territories professionally and accurately, according to the standers set by global agencies such as the United Kingdom office of Communications".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accuses the broadcaster of "incitement".

New security measures imposed by Israel after two policemen were killed nearby sparked protests by Palestinians, and the Israeli government eventually removed the security apparatus, which included metal detectors.

Al Jazeera has also faced government censure in neighboring Egypt when, in 2014, three Al Jazeera staffers were jailed for seven years and the network's offices were closed.


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