Why is Israel targeting Al Jazeera?

Why is Israel targeting Al Jazeera?


The Committee to Protect Journalists urgently calls on the Israeli government not to close the Jerusalem-based bureau of Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera and allow the media to report freely on news events in Israel and Gaza during the current conflict.

On Monday, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed a law allowing the government to halt the broadcasting of Al-Jazeera in Israel. The law grants the communications minister the power, with approval from the prime minister and the security cabinet, to order the cessation of a foreign channel’s broadcasts in Israel if the prime minister is convinced that the content directly threatens the country’s security.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, that he would act immediately to stop Al-Jazeera broadcasting from Israel. In the tweet, Netanyahu labeled Al-Jazeera a “terrorist channel” and accused it of harming Israel’s security, actively participating in the October 7 massacre, and incitement against Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers.

These accusations were previously rejected by Al-Jazeera, which called them “an attempt to justify the killing and targeting of journalists.”

“CPJ is deeply concerned by new legislation authorizing the Netanyahu government to shutter Al-Jazeera in Israel,” said Carlos Martínez de la Serna, CPJ’s program director, in New York. “The law grants the government the power to close any foreign media outlets operating in Israel, posing a significant threat to international media within the country. This contributes to a climate of self-censorship and hostility toward the press, a trend that has escalated since the Israel-Gaza war began.” [Continue reading…]

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