The Israeli cabinet votes unanimously to close the network’s operations in Israel with immediate effect.

Al Jazeera Media Network condemned the Israeli government’s decision to close its operations in Israel as a “criminal act” and warned that the country’s suppression of the free press “constitutes a violation of international and humanitarian law.”

“Al Jazeera Media Network strongly condemns and denounces this criminal act that violates human rights and the basic right to access to information. Al Jazeera asserts its right to continue providing news and information to its global audience,” the network said in a statement on Sunday.

“Israel’s continued suppression of the free press, seen as an effort to conceal its actions in the Gaza Strip, constitutes a violation of international and humanitarian law. Direct attacks and killings of journalists, arrests, intimidation and threats by Israel will not stop Al Jazeera from committing to covering it, while more than 140 Palestinian journalists have been killed since the start of the war in Gaza .

“The Network strongly rejects the allegations made by the Israeli authorities, suggesting that the professional standards of the media have been violated. It reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the values ​​enshrined in its Code of Ethics”, he stated.

The statement came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet voted unanimously to close Al Jazeera’s operations in Israel, weeks after the Israeli parliament passed a law allowing the temporary closure of foreign broadcasters considered a threat to national security during the months-long war in Gaza. .

Netanyahu announced the decision on X, formerly Twitter. “The government led by me has unanimously decided: the incitement channel Al Jazeera will be closed in Israel,” he posted in Hebrew.

Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi wrote in X that he had signed the orders against Al Jazeera, which would take effect immediately.

Karhi said he ordered the seizure of Al Jazeera broadcast equipment “used to deliver the channel’s content,” including editing and routing equipment, cameras, microphones, servers and laptops, as well as wireless transmission equipment and some cell phones.

Later on Sunday, police raided Al Jazeera facilities in occupied East Jerusalem and satellite and cable providers took Al Jazeera off the air.

Messages appeared instead of Al Jazeera’s broadcast on several satellite providers, including messages with the words “Yes” and “Hot”.

The message marked “Yes” says: “In accordance with the government’s decision, broadcasts from the Al Jazeera station have been stopped in Israel.”

Israel’s decision worsens the country’s long-standing rivalry with Al Jazeera. It also threatens to increase tensions with Qatar, which funds the media network, at a time when Doha plays a key role in mediation efforts to stop the war in Gaza.

Israel has long had a difficult relationship with Al Jazeera, accusing it of bias against it and collaboration with Hamas. The Qatar-based network has repeatedly rejected the allegations.

Al Jazeera is one of the few international media outlets that remained in Gaza during the war, broadcasting bloody scenes of airstrikes and overcrowded hospitals, and accusing Israel of massacres.

Last month, Netanyahu said he would “act immediately to stop” Al Jazeera’s operations in Israel after his parliament passed a law giving senior ministers powers to shut down foreign news networks deemed a security risk.

“Al Jazeera undermined Israel’s security, actively participated in the October 7th massacre and incited Israeli soldiers,” Netanyahu posted on X.

The network accused Netanyahu of “incitement”, holding the Israeli leader responsible “for the security of his staff and network facilities around the world, following his incitement and this false accusation in a shameful manner”.

Al Jazeera’s Zein Basravi, reporting from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, said the Palestine-Israel conflict is “one of the main reasons our network exists.”

“So to have our journalists, our operations, threatened in this way… Definitely the concern here in the occupied West Bank is that we are going to be next,” he said.


Press freedom groups condemned Israel’s decision to close Al Jazeera.

Tim Dawson, deputy secretary-general of the International Federation of Journalists, told Al Jazeera London that it was “a completely backwards and ridiculous decision.”

“Shutting down the media, closing down television stations is something that despots do,” he said.

“Israel places a lot of importance on being a democracy and the idea that it can simply close down an international broadcaster with considerable reputation and history is atrocious,” Dawson added.

Nour Odeh, a political analyst, warned that other media organizations could be targeted in the future.

“People should be concerned,” she said.

“This isn’t just about Al Jazeera… I think this threatens a lot of organizations. Maybe even some progressive Israeli news organizations that have been critical of the war.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *