Israeli Minister Threatens to Close Al Jazeera's Offices in Country

07 August, 2017, 01:30 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Israel plans to follow the lead of several Arab countries by banning broadcaster Al-Jazeera

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.

Al Jazeera has already been targeted by Arab nations that are isolating Qatar as part of a dispute over Doha's politics and alleged support for extremists.

Israeli Communications Minister Ayoub Kara announced during a press conference about his intentions to constrict Qatari news agency Al Jazeera's activity within Israel due to Qatar's "support of terrorism".

Kara said cable TV providers agreed to take the network off the air but closing its Jerusalem bureau would need approval by the Knesset.

Al Jazeera has come under attack from several governments in the region in recent months to the concern of free press campaigners.

Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler, of the Yerushalayim bureau, said that the request to revoke the credentials cover all the networks journalists in both the Arabic and English channels.


Jordan and Saudi Arabia have closed Al Jazeera's local offices, while the channel and its sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has also claimed Al Jazeera has recently incited violence among Palestinians over restrictions on visiting Jersualem holy site al-Aqsa Mosque. Journalists and representatives from Al Jazeera were not permitted to attend.

"The Al-Jazeera channel continues to incite violence around the Temple Mount", Netanyahu wrote in a Facebook post on July 27, referring to the religious site in Jerusalem that is holy to both Muslims and Jews.

Al Jazeera has fiercely defended its reputation and says it is independent.

The israeli minister of Communications has motivated its decision by the fact that "in recent times, nearly all the countries of the region, especially Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, came to the conclusion that Al-Jazeera incites terrorism and religious extremism". You can not fool me with Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic.

"Al Jazeera will continue to cover the events of the occupied Palestinian territories professionally and accurately, according to the standards set by worldwide agencies, such as the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom)". It also was the first Arab-owned news outlet to host Israeli officials and commentators, which some analysts note coincided with Qatar's ties with Israel at the time.

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