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Lieberman calls for Al Jazeera licence to work in Israel to be cancelled

Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaks during a press conference at the Israeli Parliament on November 14, 2018 in Jerusalem, Israel [Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]
Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem, Israel [Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]

Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman called on Tuesday for the press credentials and operational licence of Al Jazeera Network to be cancelled so that it cannot work in the occupation state. The far-right politician made his call in response to the network filing a submission at the International Criminal Court about the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by an Israeli soldier in May.

"It is completely unacceptable for Al Jazeera to sue Israel and lectures us on morality," Lieberman tweeted. "It is not logical that this body has the right to broadcast from Israel. I call on the Government Press Office to revoke the press cards of all Al Jazeera reporters in Israeli territory."

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The leader of Otzma Yehudit party, far-right extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir, described Al Jazeera as a "propaganda" machine and called for its reporters to be deported. "Al Jazeera Network not only covers the news in an anti-Semitic way, distorts the truth and publishes lies, they also work against the State of Israel around the world," the MK told the Jewish Press. "This propaganda network should be expelled from the country and not given the opportunity to continue its anti-Israel campaign of lies."

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said earlier that he will not allow anyone to question Israeli soldiers. "Nobody will interrogate IDF soldiers," he said. "No one will investigate IDF soldiers and no one will preach to us about morals in warfare, certainly not Al Jazeera."

Lapid's comments drew a robust response from MEMO's correspondent in Gaza, who was shot and wounded by an Israeli sniper in 2018. "The morality and 'work ethic' [of the Israeli army] that Lapid and Gantz [and now Lieberman] praise so highly is based on terrorism," Motasem Dalloul pointed out.

The lawsuit at the ICC includes "new witness evidence and video footage that clearly show that Abu Akleh and her colleagues were directly fired at by Israeli Occupation Forces," Al Jazeera said on Tuesday. "The evidence presented to the Office of the Prosecutor confirms, without any doubt, that there was no firing in the area where Shireen was, other than the IOF shooting directly at her."

READ: Israel referred to ICC by Al Jazeera for killing Shireen Abu Akleh 

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