Censorship: Israeli Government Orders Shutdown of Al Jazeera News and Broadcasting Offices

Israel's Ministry of Communications recently banned the Al Jazeera Media Network's news channel from airing in the country and raided its Jerusalem office, seizing all broadcasting equipment. This was done immediately after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the decision to shut down the media outlet's operations in Israel.

Al Jazeera, a Qatari-owned news agency established in 1996, became known for freely reporting on all of the dangerous activities done by the Israeli military in Gaza since the onset of the war in October.

The Israeli government deemed Al Jazeera's reporting as an attack and harm to its national security, which led to legislation giving the prime minister and communications minister the authority to order the temporary closure of non-domestic news agencies deemed to harm national security in April. Under the law, judicial review is allowed within 24 hours, with a three-day decision period.

In line with this, the cabinet voted unanimously on May 5 to authorize Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, a member of Netanyahu's extremist Likud party, to shut down Al Jazeera for 45 days. The operational ban expires on July 31 or when the emergency situation ends, but can be renewable.

Immediately after cabinet approval, Karhi signed four orders, including instructing Israeli major TV providers to stop broadcasting the Qatari news channel as well as for cellphone and internet providers to block access to Al Jazeera's English- and Arabic-language websites.

The other two orders instructed police and Communications Ministry inspectors to raid Al Jazeera's office in Jerusalem and to confiscate all workstations, cameras, microphones, servers, laptops, external hard drives, video compression equipment, wireless broadcast equipment and cellphones – except those for personal use. After the raid, the premises was locked.

Israeli government faces backlash amid closure of Al Jazeera channel

Walid Omary, the head of Al Jazeera in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, suggests that the government's decision is "dangerous" and politically motivated rather than professional.

"Al Jazeera Media Network strongly condemns and denounces this criminal act that violates human rights and the basic right to access of information," the network said. "Al Jazeera affirms its right to continue to provide news and information to its global audiences. Israel's ongoing suppression of the free press, seen as an effort to conceal its actions in the Gaza Strip, stands in contravention of international and humanitarian law."

The Foreign Press Association, representing foreign media in the region, echoed Al Jazeera's sentiments and denounced the closure as a step toward authoritarianism.

"We urge the government to reverse this harmful step and uphold its commitment to freedom of the press, including outlets whose coverage it may not like... This is a dark day for the media. This is a dark day for democracy."

Furthermore, the United Nations Human Rights Office added its voice to the chorus of condemnation.

"We regret cabinet decision to close Al Jazeera in Israel," the UN said on X, formerly known as Twitter. "A free and independent media is essential to ensuring transparency and accountability. Now, even more so given tight restrictions on reporting from Gaza. Freedom of expression is a key human right. We urge govt to overturn ban."

(Article by Laura Harris republished from NaturalNews.com )

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