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Israel to shut down local branch of Al-Jazeera

07 August 2017, 01:31 | Myrtle Vega

Israel attempts to shut down Al Jazeera's office and ban journalists

Israeli minister asks for closure of Al Jazeera's offices in Jerusalem

Washington, D.C., August 6, 2017-Israeli authorities should abandon efforts to close Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera's offices, revoke its journalists' credentials, and censor its transmissions, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Israel said Sunday it plans to ban Qatar's flagship Al-Jazeera network from operating in the country over allegations it incites violence, joining Arab nations that have shut down the broadcaster amid a separate political dispute.

There was no timetable given for the implementation of the measures.

Israel's communications minister announced on Sunday that he wanted to shut down the operations of Qatar-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera in the country.

He said it is "delusional" that Arab states in the region banned the news network for that reason but Israel has not.

Al Jazeera journalists have been arrested in Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan have shut down its offices in their respective countries.

Al Jazeera's Jerusalem Bureau Chief Walid Omary told Anadolu Agency that no official notification has been received from Israeli part so far. Journalists and representatives from Al Jazeera were not permitted to attend.

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Ayoub Kara alleged that the channel supported "terrorism", and said both its Arabic and English-language channels would be taken off air.

These Arab states accuse Qatar of backing terrorism and have demanded the shutdown of Qatari-funded Al Jazeera. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has likened its coverage to "Nazi Germany-style" propaganda.

Al Jazeera has condemned the decision.

The Foreign Press Association, which represents journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories for worldwide news organizations, said the move "is certainly a cause for concern".

"The Al-Jazeera channel continues to incite violence around the Temple Mount", Netanyahu wrote in a Facebook post on July 27, referring to the religious site in Jerusalem that is holy to both Muslims and Jews.

"We have identified media outlets that do not serve freedom of speech but endanger the security of Israel's citizens, and the main instrument has been Al Jazeera", Kara said.

"Our coverage of events in the palestinian territories is professional and objective, and the Israelis have acknowledged a couple of times because we are keen to present the views and their opposites", he said. However, it is also controversial within the Arab world.



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