The Israeli government will ban Al Jazeera

the israeli government will ban al jazeera n
the israeli government will ban al jazeera n

The Israeli government will ban Al Jazeera, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, labeling the Qatar-based pan-Arab channel the mouthpiece of Hamas.

The Knesset passed a temporary law that allows the prime minister to ban a foreign channel and close its offices if he considers it a threat to national security.

"Al Jazeera has harmed Israel's security, actively participated in the October 7 massacre and incited violence against Israeli soldiers. It's time to remove the Hamas bull from our country," Netanyahu wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

"The terrorist channel Al Jazeera will no longer broadcast from Israel. I intend to act immediately in accordance with the new law to terminate the channel's activity.”

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi said the channel would be blocked "in the coming days," adding that "there will be no freedom of expression for Hamas spokesmen," according to the Times of Israel. The legislation will be in effect until July 31, 2024, or until the end of "significant military actions" during the ongoing war with Hamas, the Knesset said.

Al Jazeera released a statement, saying it "holds the Israeli prime minister responsible for the security of its network staff and facilities around the world, following his instigation and this false accusation." The channel said "such defamatory allegations will not stop us from continuing our courageous and professional coverage" and threatened legal action.

Some Israeli lawmakers have opposed the law. MK Mansour Abbas argued that Al Jazeera should be allowed to broadcast because it "gives a platform to speakers from Israel, even military spokespersons."

The US also expressed concerns about the new law. "We believe in freedom of the press... and that includes those reporting on the conflict in Gaza. So we believe the work is important," White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh was killed while covering an Israeli raid in the West Bank in 2022. In December, Samer Abudaqa, a cameraman working for the channel, was killed during the IDF operation in Gaza. Al Jazeera blamed the Israeli military for both deaths.

Israel declared war on Hamas after the Palestinian militants launched a surprise attack on October 7, killing around 1200 people and taking more than 200 hostages. Dozens of captives were subsequently released as part of a series of prisoner exchanges during a week-long ceasefire in November.

More than 32,800 Palestinians have been killed since October 7, according to Hamas-run authorities in Gaza.

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