Israel to Close Al Jazeera Offices after Similar Move by Saudi-Led Bloc

Israel to Close Al Jazeera Offices after Similar Move by Saudi-Led Bloc
Mon Aug 7, 2017 10:30:07

Israel plans to shut down Qatar's pan-Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera’s office in Jerusalem al-Quds and revoke the media credentials of its journalists following a similar move by Saudi Arabia and its allies.

"We have based our decision on the move by Sunni Arab states to close the Al Jazeera offices and prohibiting their work," Israel's Communications Minister Ayoob Kara said Sunday during a news conference, which Al Jazeera was barred from attending.

Kara also said that he had asked cable providers to turn off Al Jazeera’s broadcasts, claiming the channel was being used by groups to "incite" violence.

No timetable for the measures was given but, the Israeli minister said he expected Israel's parliament, known as the Knesset, to consider his request in the upcoming session.

"I will go through the legislatory mechanism to create the authority in which I can act freely. We will try to end it as quickly as possible," Kara said.

The announcement came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to shut down Al Jazeera's offices, accusing it of inciting violence against Tel Aviv.

Al Jazeera condemned the decision as unsubstantial, saying it would “take the necessary legal measures towards it.”

"Al Jazeera Media Network denounces this decision, which comes in the context of a campaign that was initiated by a statement made earlier by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu," Al Jazeera said in a statement late on Sunday.

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