Published: Mon, August 07, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Israeli Minister Threatens to Close Al Jazeera's Offices in Country

Israeli Minister Threatens to Close Al Jazeera's Offices in Country

He claimed that the network was being used by groups to incite violence in Jerusalem.

The decision comes in wake of the recent statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, wherein he had said that Al Jazeera was inciting violence and promoting terrorism.

Saudi Arabia and Jordan have both shut Al Jazeera bureaux this year as part of the ongoing "cold war" playing out in the Gulf, which culminated in the full blockade of Qatar.

"I congratulate minister Kara, who upon my instructions, took practical steps today to stop Al Jazeera's incitement-filled activities", Netanyahu wote on twitter. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has likened its coverage to "Nazi Germany-style" propaganda.

An Al Jazeera official in the Qatari capital Doha told AFP that the channel "deplores this action from a state that is called the only democratic state in the Middle East, and considers what it has done is dangerous".

However, Al Jazeera has denied such allegations and said that it is an independent media agency.

Egypt banned the Al Jazeera network and several other websites that were critical of the government in May and broadcasts have also been blocked in the UAE.

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In his news conference, to which Al Jazeera was not invited, Kara said steps had to be taken against "media, which has been determined by nearly all Arab countries to actually be a supporter of terror, and we know this for certain".

"Al-Jazeera had a big role conveying the Palestinian narrative with a high professionalism", said Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesman. "Here in Israel, there is no place for a channel that backs terrorism either".

Shutting the network was on a list of 13 demands by the four Arab nations leading the boycott of Qatar that were tabled in June but later dropped.

Al Jazeera says it was the first Arabic channel to feature Israeli politicians and commentators on the air.

The Foreign Press Association, which represents journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories for worldwide news organizations, said the move "is certainly a cause for concern".

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