Israel to expel Al Jazeera, block broadcasts & revoke journalists' credentials

07 August, 2017, 01:29 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Israeli minister asks for closure of Al Jazeera’s offices in Jerusalem

The television channel Al-Jazeera of Qatar denounces the israeli government's decision to close its offices and will challenge it in court, announced on Sunday a leader of the chain.

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.

"Democracy has limits", Kara said at a press conference in Jerusalem.

Ayoob Kara said he wanted the press cards of employees of the network revoked and to have their Jerusalem office closed, adding that he had asked cable providers to block Al-Jazeera's transmissions.

Israeli communication minister Ayoub Kara said that the news channel has been found to be supporting terrorism, which is why it would be taken off the air.

During the press conference, Kara also said that the interior ministry will also be involved in shutting down Al Jazeera's office in Jerusalem.

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.

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Al Jazeera said in July that Israel was aligning itself with four Arab states - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain - that have severed diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar.

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Facebook post that he would work to shut the network's offices in Israel, accusing it of inciting recent violence in Jerusalem, including over an Old City site that is holy to both Muslims and Jews. "Everybody goes after the media", he said.

Israel has long presented itself as a bastion of press freedom in a region where government restrictions on the media are commonplace, and has pointed to Al Jazeera's presence in Jerusalem as proof of the nation's liberal values. He tweeted that the minister acted "on my instructions and took concrete steps to end Al-Jazeera's incitement" in Israel.

Doha-based Al-Jazeera on its English language website condemned the measures as "undemocratic" and said that it will take legal action.

Kara wants the Knesset, Israel's unicameral parliament, to consider his request in the next session. You can not fool me with Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic.

The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, also known as Adalah, also challenged the plan, saying that it would be subject to scrutiny before the Supreme Court, adding that "it would fail the test of legality".

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