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Israel Orders Al Jazeera to Close Its Local Operation, Seizes Some Equipment
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 4 weeks ago on
May 5, 2024

Israel ordered local offices of Qatar's Al Jazeera satellite news network to close Sunday, but its website and multiple online streaming links still operated Sunday. (AP File)

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TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel ordered the local offices of Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite news network to close Sunday, escalating a long-running feud between the broadcaster and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard-line government as Doha-mediated cease-fire negotiations with Hamas hang in the balance.

The extraordinary order, which includes confiscating broadcast equipment, preventing the broadcast of the channel’s reports and blocking its websites, is believed to be the first time Israel has ever shuttered a foreign news outlet.

Al Jazeera went off Israel’s main cable and satellite providers in the hours after the order. However, its website and multiple online streaming links still operated Sunday.

The network has reported the Israeli-Hamas war nonstop since the militants’ initial cross-border attack Oct. 7 and has maintained 24-hour coverage in the Gaza Strip amid Israel’s grinding ground offensive that has killed and wounded members of its own staff. While including on-the-ground reporting of the war’s casualties, its Arabic arm often publishes verbatim video statements from Hamas and other militant groups in the region.

“Al Jazeera reporters harmed Israel’s security and incited against soldiers,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “It’s time to remove the Hamas mouthpiece from our country.”

Al Jazeera issued a statement vowing it will “pursue all available legal channels through international legal institutions in its quest to protect both its rights and journalists, as well as the public’s right to information.”

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