Friday, May 24, 2024

Israeli cabinet votes to shut down Al Jazeera’s operations in the country

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet voted unanimously to close Al Jazeera’s operations in Israel, weeks after Israel’s parliament passed a law allowing the temporary closure of foreign broadcasters considered to be a threat to national security during the months-long genocidal war in Gaza.

Netanyahu announced the decision on X, formerly Twitter. “The government headed by me unanimously decided: the incitement channel Al Jazeera will be closed in Israel,” he posted in Hebrew.

Israel’s Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi wrote on X that he had signed the orders against Al Jazeera, which would be effective immediately.

Karhi said he ordered the seizure of Al Jazeera’s broadcasting equipment “used to deliver the channel’s content”, including editing and routing equipment, cameras, microphones, servers and laptops, as well as wireless transmission equipment and some mobile phones.

Police raided Al Jazeera’s premises in occupied East Jerusalem and satellite and cable providers took Al Jazeera off air.

Al Jazeera Media Network has condemned the Israeli government’s decision to close its operations in Israel as a “criminal act.”

Al Jazeera warned that Israel’s suppression of the free press “stands in contravention of international and humanitarian law.”

“Al Jazeera Media Network strongly condemns and denounces this criminal act that violates human rights and the basic right to access of information. Al Jazeera affirms its right to continue to provide news and information to its global audiences,” the network said in a statement on Sunday.

It said: ““Israel’s ongoing suppression of the free press, seen as an effort to conceal its actions in the Gaza Strip, stands in contravention of international and humanitarian law. Israel’s direct targeting and killing of journalists, arrests, intimidation and threats will not deter Al Jazeera from its commitment to cover, whilst more than 140 Palestinian journalists have been killed since the beginning of the war on Gaza.”

“The Network vehemently rejects the allegations presented by Israeli authorities suggesting professional media standards have been violated. It reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the values embodied by its Code of Ethics,” it said.

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