Join­ing Arab states, Is­rael to ban Al-Jazeera

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

JERUSALEM, Mid­dle East — Is­rael has said that it plans to ban Qatar’s flag­ship Al-Jazeera net­work from op­er­at­ing in the coun­try over al­le­ga­tions it in­cites vi­o­lence, join­ing Arab na­tions that have shut down the broad­caster amid a sep­a­rate po­lit­i­cal dis­pute. The news or­ga­ni­za­tion, in turn, said it will take le­gal ac­tion.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Ay­oob Kara said on Sun­day that he plans to revoke the press cre­den­tials of Al-Jazeera jour­nal­ists, ef­fec­tively pre­vent­ing them from work­ing in Is­rael.

Kara said he has asked ca­ble and satel­lite net­works to block Al-Jazeera trans­mis­sions and is seek­ing leg­is­la­tion to ban them al­to­gether.

“We are go­ing to set steps to demon­strate our war against ter­ror and rad­i­cal Is­lam,” he said.

The min­is­ter, a mem­ber of Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu’s Likud Party, gave no timetable.

Doha-based Al-Jazeera, on its English lan­guage web­site, con­demned the mea­sures as “un­demo­cratic” and said that it will take le­gal ac­tion. It said it will con­tinue op­er­at­ing in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Walid al-Omari, the broad­caster’s bureau chief in Jerusalem, said on air that his of­fice has not been in­formed by Is­raeli of­fi­cials of any pos­si­ble mea­sures the gov­ern­ment might take.

Al-Jazeera, a pan-Arab satel­lite net­work funded by the Qatari gov­ern­ment, al­ready has been tar­geted by Arab na­tions now iso­lat­ing Qatar as part of a po­lit­i­cal dis­pute over Doha’s pol­i­tics and al­leged sup­port for ex­trem­ists that started in June.

Jor­dan and Saudi Ara­bia have re­cently closed Al-Ja- zeera’s lo­cal of­fices, while the chan­nel and its af­fil­i­ate sites have been blocked in Saudi Ara­bia, the United Arab Emi­rates, Egypt and Bahrain.

“Lately, al­most all coun­tries in our re­gion de­ter­mined that Al-Jazeera sup­ports ter­ror­ism, sup­ports re­li­gious rad­i­cal­iza­tion,” Kara said.

Is­raeli of­fi­cials have long ac­cused Al-Jazeera of bias against the Jewish state. De­fense Min­is­ter Avig­dor Lieber­man has likened its cov­er­age to “Nazi Ger­manystyle” pro­pa­ganda.


Lee Jae-yong, vice-chair­man of Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics, ar­rives for his trial at the Seoul Cen­tral Dis­trict Court in Seoul on Mon­day.

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