Israeli minister says ‘necessary procedures' prepared to close Al Jazeera

Knesset discusses bill allowing closure of foreign media seen harming Israel's national security

10:32 - 22/02/2024 Perşembe
File photo
File photo

Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi said Wednesday that the government has prepared the “necessary procedures” to close the Qatar-funded Al Jazeera television.

This came during a session held by the National Security Committee in the Knesset (Israel's parliament) to discuss a bill allowing Karhi “to order the closure of a media outlet if it is found as harming national security.”

“We prepared the necessary procedure for the closure of Al Jazeera. There are other issues that we might need to address,” he said.

The bill was approved by the government on Feb. 12 and it passed the first reading in the Knesset.

Under the bill, the communications minister will be empowered to shut down foreign networks operating in Israel and confiscate their equipment if the defense minister identifies that their broadcast poses “an actual harm to the state's security.”

Kahri has earlier accused the Qatari news channel of working against Israel's defense interests and fueling anti-Israel sentiment.

“We managed to amend emergency regulations in an unprecedented manner, and we put them to use – we closed [Lebanese channel] Al Mayadeen,” a Knesset statement quoted Kahri as saying.

“These media outlets incite against Israel, and are the feeding tube for Israel's Arab citizens and those in the Palestinian Authority,” he added.

Al Jazeera has an office in Israel and a team of correspondents working year-round, including covering Israel's ongoing war on the Gaza Strip, which has killed more than 29,300 people since Oct. 7.

#Al Jazeera
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