Netanyahu labels Al Jazeera a “terrorist channel,” and Israel passes legislation prohibiting it from transmitting

Jerusalem: Citing concerns about national security, the Israeli parliament on Monday approved a bill allowing the nation to temporarily prohibit the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news channel from transmitting from Israel. In addition to actively participating in October 7, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the “terror channel” threatened Israel’s security and promised to take swift action to shut it down.

The Times of Israel reports that the bill was approved by the Knesset plenum on its second and third readings, 71 to 10. The law’s primary proponent, Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, promised immediately after the vote that the Qatari-funded Al Jazeera news station will be shut down “in the coming days” and that “there won’t be freedom of expression for Hamas mouthpieces in Israel.”

The law gives the prime minister and the minister of communications the authority to order the temporary shutdown of foreign networks if they pose a danger to national security. The Likud party, which supports Netanyahu, had previously said that the prime minister would “act immediately to close Al Jazeera” in compliance with the new legislation.

“Al Jazeera, a terrorist broadcaster, will stop airing from Israel. I plan to cease the channel’s operations immediately in compliance with the new legislation. Speaking on X, Netanyahu stated, “I applaud the bill pushed by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi with the backing of coalition members led by coalition chairman Ofir Katz.”

Why is Israel attempting to outlaw Al Jazeera?
Believing that Qatar is trying to prevent confrontation by funding Palestinian development projects in the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities have long bemoaned about Al Jazeera’s coverage but have not taken any action. On October 15, Israel’s minister of communications charged the station with inciting Hamas and putting Israeli soldiers in danger of ambushes.

Karhi said that Israel has “proof that it is assisting the enemy, broadcasting propaganda in the service of Hamas, in Arabic and English, to viewers around the world, and even passing sensitive information to the enemy.”. But since the conflict began on October 7, Doha has mediated ceasefire talks; therefore, nothing has been done until today.

The network, which is located in Qatar, has refuted the accusations and said that Israel deliberately targets its staff and headquarters. Notably, during Israel’s almost six-month-long war against Hamas, several Al Jazeera journalists have lost their lives while reporting on the country’s brutal bombardment in the Gaza Strip. Israel ordered in November that the Lebanese pro-Iranian broadcaster Al Mayadeen’s local broadcasts be stopped.

US voice concerns over the new legislation
Meanwhile, the legislation permitting the prohibition on Al Jazeera in Israel has raised alarm from the US. Press freedom is something we support. It is quite significant. The very essential job that journalists everywhere perform, especially those covering the Gaza crisis, is supported by the United States. During a news conference, White House news Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “If those reports are true, it is concerning to us.”

According to Hill, Israel and the US are not happy with Al Jazeera’s overall coverage of Israel or its coverage of Israel’s assault against Hamas following the October 7 terrorist incident. The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has urged the Qatari government to reduce incitement against Israel in Al Jazeera’s reporting on the fallout from Hamas’s October assault.

According to Palestinian health officials, Israel’s six-month military onslaught in Gaza has resulted in the deaths of over 32,000 Palestinians, including 63 in the last 24 hours. When terrorists headed by Hamas infiltrated southern Israel, they killed 1,200 people and kidnapped 253 others, sparking the start of the conflict.

Related Articles

Back to top button