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Israel extends closure of Al Jazeera television for another 45 days

June 9, 2024 at 4:55 pm

Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi on 6 January 2020 [Wikimedia]

Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi extended the closure of the Qatari Al Jazeera television, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We will not allow the Al Jazeera terrorist channel to broadcast in Israel and endanger our soldiers,” Kahri said in a statement.

The Israeli minister claimed that the ban was “unanimously adopted by the government, based on updated opinions from all security sources, which state unequivocally that the channel’s broadcasts are a real threat to the security of the state.”

“The closure orders will be extended in the future as well,” Kahri said.

The minister did not specify for how long the ban was extended. Israel Hayom newspaper, however, reported that the closure was extended for 45 days.

On Wednesday, the Tel Aviv District Court upheld a 35-day ban on Al Jazeera television, instead of the 45 days requested by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi.

On May 5, the Israeli government decided to ban Al Jazeera, close its offices in Israel and restrict access to its website under a law passed by the Knesset (parliament) that allows the communications minister to shut down foreign networks operating in Israel and confiscate their equipment if the country’s defense minister identifies that their broadcasts pose “an actual harm to the state’s security.”

The Doha-based broadcaster condemned the Israeli ban as a “blatant attack on press freedom.”

The Israeli ban has been widely criticised by international and regional organisations as an assault on media freedom.

Israeli officials have frequently criticised Al Jazeera, particularly for its extensive coverage of the Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.

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