Israel expels Al Jazeera, marks a new phase in its media policy

The Al Jazeera network, funded by Islamist State of Qatar, has been openly pro-Hmaas and critical of Israel's military operations in Gaza.

Israeli authorities took swift action and have shut down the local offices of Al Jazeera thus ceasing the satellite news network’s operations within the country.

Israel has joined Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt who have allegedly accused Al Jazeera of inciting violence in their countries.

During the American occupation of Iraq following the 2003 invasion that removed Saddam Hussein from power, the U.S. government specifically targeted the broadcaster for airing videos featuring the late al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

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Israeli officials defended the decision, citing Al Jazeera as a threat to national security. “The incitement channel Al Jazeera will be closed in Israel,” declared the country’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on social media following a unanimous cabinet vote.

A government statement outlined immediate actions to be taken, including the closure of Al Jazeera’s offices, confiscation of broadcast equipment, disconnection from cable and satellite providers, and blocking of its websites.

The Al Jazeera network, funded by Islamist State of Qatar, has been openly pro-Hmaas and critical of Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

Earlier, the IDF has revealed a trove of images and documents it said prove that Al Jazeera reporters were also working for Hamas and endangered Israeli lives.

Al Jazeera condemned the earlier accusations against its journalists and in present response has dismissed allegations of endangering Israeli security.

“Al Jazeera Media Network strongly condemns and denounces this criminal act that violates human rights and the basic right to access information,” stated the company in a released statement.

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Al Jazeera has previously accused Israeli authorities of targeting its journalists, some of whom were killed during the Gaza conflict. Israel denies these allegations, stating it does not target journalists.

State of Qatar established Al Jazeera in 1996 with the aim of expanding influence across the Middle East and beyond. Al Jazeera’s Arabic-language service is well-known to disseminate propaganda statements from Hamas and other Islamist militant groups, drawing condemnation from Israeli officials.

Israel’s parliament passed a law in the preceding month allowing for the temporary closure of foreign broadcasters deemed a threat to national security.

With this, Al Jazeera’s offices in Israel for 45 days, a period that can be renewed, so it could stay in force until the end of July or until the end of major military operations in Gaza.

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