Israel says plans to close broadcaster Jazeera’s offices
Israel said on Sunday it planned to close the offices in the Jewish state of Al-Jazeera, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Arab satellite news broadcaster of incitement.
A statement from the communications ministry said it would demand the revocation of the credentials of journalists working for the channel and also cut its cable and satellite connections.
Netanyahu had said on July 27 that he wanted Al-Jazeera expelled amid tensions over a sensitive Jerusalem holy site.
“The Al-Jazeera channel continues to incite violence around the Temple Mount,” he wrote in a Facebook post, referring to the Haram al-Sharif compound in Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.
Protests erupted at the contentious site after Israel last month installed new security measures including metal detectors, following the shooting dead of two Israeli policemen by attackers who emerged from the compound.
“I have appealed to law enforcement agencies several times to close the Al-Jazeera office in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said in calling for the channel’s expulsion.
“If this is not possible because of legal interpretation, I am going to seek to have the necessary legislation adopted to expel Al-Jazeera from Israel.”
Israel has regularly accused the Doha-based broadcaster of bias in its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Netanyahu heads what is seen as the most right-wing government in Israeli history.
He has frequently criticised the news media, accusing outlets of seeking to undermine his government.