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Israeli government shuts down Al Jazeera offices

Israeli authorities closed Al Jazeera’s local offices after a government vote, citing national security concerns. Critics slammed the move as a blow to press freedom, raising concerns about the Netanyahu government’s stance on free speech.



Israeli government shuts down Al Jazeera offices

Israeli authorities took decisive action on Sunday (5 May), closing the local offices of Al Jazeera just hours after a government vote to enact new laws aimed at shuttering the satellite news network’s operations within the country.

Critics swiftly condemned the move, labeling it a severe blow to press freedom and raising fresh concerns about the Netanyahu government’s stance on free speech.

Israeli officials defended the closure, citing national security concerns and labeling Al Jazeera as an “incitement channel.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the decision on social media following a unanimous cabinet vote.

The government wasted no time implementing the decision, with Israel’s communications minister immediately signing orders to close Al Jazeera’s offices, confiscate broadcast equipment, cut off the channel from cable and satellite providers, and block its websites.

Al Jazeera, funded by Qatar, has been a vocal critic of Israel’s military actions in Gaza, providing extensive coverage throughout the conflict.

Established in 1996 by Qatar to expand its influence in the Middle East and beyond, the network vehemently denied the accusation that it posed a threat to Israeli security, calling it a “dangerous and ridiculous lie” that endangered its journalists.

In response to the closure, Al Jazeera has strongly denounced the Israeli government’s move to shutter its operations in Israel, labeling it a “criminal act” that violates human rights and access to information.

In a statement on Sunday (5 May), the network emphasized its commitment to providing news to global audiences, asserting the right to free press.

“Targeting journalists is a crime,” Al Jazeera stated.

A pre-recorded “final report” detailing the restrictions imposed on the network was broadcast after the ban took effect.

The network has previously accused Israeli authorities of targeting its journalists, including those killed during the conflict in Gaza.

Israel denies such accusations, stating it does not intentionally target journalists.

The move drew criticism from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who emphasized the importance of a free and independent media in ensuring transparency and accountability, especially in conflict zones like Gaza.

“Freedom of expression is a key to human right,” it stated.

The closure comes amid a broader crackdown on press freedom in Israel, including the recent passage of a law allowing for the temporary closure of foreign broadcasters deemed a threat to national security.

Critics view these measures as part of a wider trend of authoritarianism within Netanyahu’s government.

The Foreign Press Association, representing journalists working in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, condemned the closure, labeling it a “dark day for the media” and a threat to democracy.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has strongly criticized Israel’s move to shut down Al Jazeera’s offices, labeling it an “assault on freedom of the press.”

In a statement shared by Omar Shakir, HRW’s Israel and Palestine Director, on Sunday (5 May), the organization condemned the decision.

Shakir emphasized that instead of attempting to silence reporting on Gaza’s atrocities, Israel should cease committing them.

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yah must POFMA the jaz news.

Maybe this idea cam from Pinky.
He said see how I control my goons here in SG, just make your own version of our POFMA.

They must be spreading fake news.LOL

Yes, shut it down.

Well done Israel.!

Its the right thing to do.

We want to hear the good thing, sounds good and feels good. What do you think?

Guess if the IDF barge into their offices, they would find grenades in their office drawers and even staff pockets ,AKs behind the toilet cubicle or even behind their photo copying machines and a whole host of ‘gear’ that ain’t office attire!😆😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣

Al-Jazeera just got “POFMA”-ed and ordered to shut down, for the sake of national “interest” and “security”.

Israel must have learned from the pappies, to make sure everyone complies with their “official” narrative.

So, Al-Jazeera spreading “misinformation”? The same accusation was hurled at Online Citizen. Choose your bias.