Al Jazeera cuts interview short after Gazan says Hamas can ‘go to hell'

The incident occurred amid Israeli threats to shut down Israeli bureau of the Qatari state-owned news network


An Al Jazeera reporter cut off an interview with a Gazan man who said Hamas can ‘go to hell’.

The Qatari-owned broadcaster interviewed an injured Palestinian man at Al-Aqsa hospital in Gaza on Sunday 5 November.  

However, the Al Jazeera reporter cut the conversation short as soon as the man criticised the terror group for hiding among civilians. 

“As for the resistance, they come and hide among the people. Why are they hiding among the people? They can go to hell and hide there,” the man said, according to a translation by the Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI) from Arabic to English. 

The reporter then abruptly turned away from the man even as he continued to speak, addressing the camera and changing the subject. 

The man can be seen kicking in frustration, apparently to get the reporter’s attention after being cut off mid-sentence, while the reporter walked away.

It comes after the Israeli Government approved emergency regulations to temporarily shut down Al Jazeera news network’s operations in the country.

The measures would enable authorities to order television providers to stop broadcasting the outlet; close its offices in Israel; seize its equipment; shut down its website; and revoke press credentials for staff.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration has accused the Qatari state-owned TV news network, which has featured several Hamas leaders, of “encouraging violence against Israel" during their coverage of Hamas’ terror attack on the Jewish state. 

Meanwhile, the Israeli security cabinet voted on Sunday to shut down the local bureau of the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese news outlet Al Mayadeen. 

The request to block the network from operating in Israel was put forward by communications minister Shlomo Karhi, who said Al Mayadeen’s broadcasts “serve the interests of Israel’s enemies”.

“Israel is at war. On land, in the air, at sea, in cyberspace, on the airwaves and in [the public] consciousness,” Karhi said in his announcement of the order to shut down Al Mayadeen. 

“Broadcasts such as these identify with the enemy while harming state security and will be blocked.

“Al Mayadeen’s broadcasts and reports serve the despicable terrorist organizations, and the time has come for a reckoning with them.” 

Asked why Al Jazeera was not cited in the Israeli security cabinet decision, a Communications Ministry spokesperson said: "The security cabinet has not discussed that." 

Polling conducted in June by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research showed that 59 percent of Gazans felt they could not criticise Hamas authorities without fear of retribution. 

According to the poll, which surveyed 1,270 Palestinian residents in the West Bank and Gaza, 73 percent said they believed there was corruption in Hamas-run institutions in the Strip.

Al Jazeera has been approached for comment.

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