Israel to ban Al Jazeera – Netanyahu — RT World News

The Knesset allowed the government to suspend the broadcast of foreign television channels for security reasons

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli government will ban Al Jazeera, describing the Qatar-based Arabic channel as the mouthpiece of Hamas. This statement came at a time when the Israeli war in Gaza is heading into its sixth month.

On Monday, the Knesset passed a temporary law allowing the prime minister to ban a foreign channel and close its offices if he deems it poses a threat to national security. Netanyahu, who is recovering from hernia surgery, said he intends to use the law against Al Jazeera.

“Al Jazeera has harmed Israel’s security, actively participated in the October 7 massacre, and incited against Israeli soldiers. It is time to remove the mouthpiece of Hamas from our country.” Netanyahu wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday.

“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 activity.”

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi said the channel would be blocked “In the coming days” In addition to that “There will be no freedom of expression for the mouthpieces of Hamas.” According to The Times of Israel. The legislation will be in effect until July 31, 2024, or until the end of… “Major military operations” During the ongoing war with Hamas, the Knesset said.

Al Jazeera issued a statement saying this He held the Israeli Prime Minister responsible for the safety of his employees and the headquarters of his network around the world, after his incitement and this false accusation. The channel said so He added: “Such scandalous accusations will not deter us from continuing our bold and professional coverage.” He threatened to take legal action.

Some Israeli lawmakers opposed this law. Knesset member Mansour Abbas said that Al Jazeera should be allowed to broadcast because it is “It gives a platform to speakers from Israel, even to military speakers.”

The United States also expressed concerns about the new law. “We believe in freedom of the press… and this includes those covering the conflict in Gaza. “So we believe that work is important.” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

Al Jazeera correspondent Sherine Abu Okla was killed while covering an Israeli raid in the West Bank in 2022. In December, Samer Abu Daqqa, a cameraman working for the channel, was killed during an IDF operation in Gaza. Al Jazeera blamed the Israeli army for their deaths.

Israel declared war on Hamas after Palestinian militants carried out a surprise attack on October 7, killing about 1,100 people and taking more than 200 hostage. Dozens of prisoners were later released as part of a series of prisoner exchanges during a week-long ceasefire in November.

More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, according to Hamas-run authorities in Gaza.

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