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Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu orders closure of Al Jazeera network in country

The extraordinary order includes confiscating broadcast equipment, preventing the broadcast of the channel's reports and blocking its websites.
09:17 PM May 05, 2024 IST | GK Web Desk
israel pm benjamin netanyahu orders closure of al jazeera network in country
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Srinagar, May 05: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday said that his cabinet has voted to shut down the operations of Qatar-based media house Al Jazeera which is a major source of news in the Arab world and in the South Asia as well.

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The network has been highlighting the plights of the people of Palestine, amplifying the cause on a great scale after Israel ordered a massive military operations in the Gaza strip following the October 7 attack from the militant group Hamas.

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“The government under my leadership has decided unanimously: The incitement channel Al Jazeera will be shut down in Israel,” Mr. Netanyahu said on X.

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The order comes amid a long-running feud between the broadcaster and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-line government as Doha-mediated cease-fire negotiations with Hamas hang in the balance, AP reported.

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The extraordinary order includes confiscating broadcast equipment, preventing the broadcast of the channel's reports and blocking its websites.

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Hours after the order, Al Jazeera went off Israel's main cable provider.

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Journalism organizations have said that such a closure, which had been under discussion in Israel for weeks, would be a blow to press freedom, reported the New York Times.

Condemning the order, Al Jazeera said that the Israeli government's move to close its operations in Israel is a “criminal act” and warned that the country’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.

The network has reported the Israeli-Hamas war nonstop since the militants’ initial cross-border attack Oct. 7 and has maintained 24-hour coverage in the Gaza Strip amid Israel’s grinding ground offensive that has killed and wounded members of its own staff. While including on-the-ground reporting of the war’s casualties, its Arabic arm often publishes verbatim video statements from Hamas and other militant groups in the region, drawing Netanyahu’s ire.

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