Israel plans to ban Al Jazeera over 'support for terror'

Jerome Frank
August 7, 2017

Ayoub said that Saudi Arabia and Egypt "have concluded that Al Jazeera incites terrorism and religious extremism".

While the proposal will not take immediate effect, Kara confirmed that both the Arabic and English versions of the news channel will be shuttered once the proposal is passed in the Knesset (Israel's parliament).

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

According to the outlet, Kara also revealed his plans to revoke Al Jazeera reporters' press passes.

Journalists working for the station in Israel said they did not expect imminent moves against them and Walid al-Omari, the broadcaster's bureau chief in Jerusalem, said his office has not been informed by Israeli officials of any possible measures the government might take. "Israel should abandon these undemocratic plans and allow Al-Jazeera and all journalists to report freely from the country and areas it occupies".

"We have based our decision on the move by Sunni Arab states to close the Al Jazeera offices and prohibiting their work", Kara said.

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In his news conference, to which Al Jazeera was not invited, Kara said steps had to be taken against "media, which has been determined by nearly all Arab countries to actually be a supporter of terror, and we know this for certain". He said "Therefore, I have contacted the security echelon and have requested a professional opinion regarding the Al-Jazeera network".

The official, who declined to be named, said the broadcaster "will follow up the subject through appropriate legal and judicial procedures".

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been threatening to shut Al-Jazeera's operations in the country, accusing the network of inciting violence against Israel.

The Foreign Press Association, which represents journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories for global news organizations, said the move "is certainly a cause for concern". The site saw violent clashes in recent weeks.

He was surprised to see the israeli ministry of Communications to justify the decision against his chain of arguments used by the "country of the blockade of saudi Arabia, the united arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt".

The pan-Arab network's offices in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, however, would not be affected by the current Israeli move.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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