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Netanyahu orders closure of Al Jazeera in Israel

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Netanyahu orders closure of Al Jazeera in Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday that his government has decided to shut down the operations of the Qatar-based news channel, Al Jazeera.

The decision came after a meeting with his security cabinet, where Al Jazeera was described as a mouthpiece for the Hamas militant group.

Netanyahu stated, “After discussion by the Security Cabinet and pursuant to my directive, today the Government discussed closing Al Jazeera broadcasts in Israel. Al Jazeera correspondents have harmed the security of Israel and incited against IDF soldiers. The time has come to eject Hamas’s mouthpiece from our country.”

Similarly, Israel’s Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi emphasized that there would be no freedom of speech for Al Jazeera in Israel. Karhi declared, “There will be no freedom of speech for the Hamas trumpets in Israel. Al Jazeera will be closed immediately, and the equipment will be confiscated.”

In line with this decision, an order was issued to seize all devices used for broadcasting Al Jazeera’s content, including editing and routing equipment, cameras, microphones, servers, laptops, wireless transmission equipment, and certain cell phones.

This move follows the passage of a new national security law by Israel’s parliament, granting top ministers the authority to ban broadcasts by foreign channels deemed a national security threat and to shut down their offices. Netanyahu specifically targeted Al Jazeera, which is known as the “first independent news channel in the Arab world.”

The closure of Al Jazeera’s operations in Israel marks a significant development in the ongoing tensions between the media and government authorities, highlighting concerns over freedom of the press and national security interests.

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