Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Israel Moves to Close Al Jazeera, Revoke Credentials of Its Journalists

Employees of Qatar based news network and TV channel Al Jazeera are seen at their Jerusalem office Image Cable broadcasters have agreed to take the channel off air
Erik Tate | 07 August, 2017, 01:11

Israel's communications minister, Ayoub Kara, is moving forward with a plan to ban Qatari state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera throughout the country.

"The Al-Jazeera channel continues to incite violence around the Temple Mount", he wrote, referring to the holy site in Jerusalem, which is known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has likened its coverage to "Nazi Germany-style" propaganda.

Hen said that the GPO had also sent a request to the Israeli security agencies to assess the security risk of banning Al Jazeera and make its decision based on that.

The move follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call for the station's offices to be shut down, accusing it of inflaming tensions around Al-Aqsa mosque, the Jerusalem holy site where Palestinians staged an nearly two-week protest last month against Israeli security measures installed after a deadly shootout.

An official at Al-Jazeera in Doha said the channel "deplores this action from a state that is called the only democratic state in the Middle East and considers what it has done is dangerous".

"Al Jazeera stresses that it will closely watch the developments that may result from the Israeli decision, and will take the necessary legal measures towards it", it said in a statement.

Palestinians refused to enter the site for almost two weeks over the new security measures imposed after three Israeli Arabs shot dead the policemen nearby.

Fire rips through huge Dubai skyscraper
One person who lives in the Tower said, "Fire happened around at 1 am, we all are sleeping, for the fire alarm we all woke up". The previous blaze broke out at 2am on 21 February 2015 and was started by a grill placed on one of the tower's balconies.

The network's editor in Jerusalem has accused Mr Netanyahu of collusion with his autocratic Arab neighbours in an attack on free and independent media.

That includes Al Jazeera's reporting of the recent protests over the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

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.

The ministry added that it had become "ridiculous that the channel continued to broadcast from Israel".

Saudi Arabia and Jordan both shut down Al Jazeera bureaus as part of the diplomatic and economic campaign against Qatar, home to Al Jazeera's headquarters.

Shutting the network was on a list of 13 demands by the four Arab nations leading the boycott of Qatar that were tabled in June but later dropped.

Netanyahu has, however, frequently criticized news media in general, accusing various outlets of seeking to undermine his government.

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