(JNS) The Israeli Government has approved emergency regulations to temporarily shut down the Al Jazeera news network’s operations in the country.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration accused the Qatari state-owned TV news network of “encouraging violence against Israel" during their coverage of Hamas’ terror attack on the Jewish state.
The measures will 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.
“Israel is at war. On land, in the air, at sea, and in the mind. We will in no way allow broadcasts that harm the security of the state,” said Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, who initiated the move.
“Al Jazeera’s broadcasts and reports constitute incitement against Israel, serving Hamas-Daesh [ISIS] in propaganda and encouraging violence against Israel, thereby actually harming the security of the state,” he added.
No move to close down Al Jazeera’s operations will be made until Karhi reviews its coverage. A final decision will require the approval of Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant.
Al Jazeera is accused of endangering Israeli soldiers by exposing details of where forces are assembling. Mossad has backed Karhi’s effort, saying the Arab news channel is a threat to Israel’s security.
The channel has also invited Hamas spokespeople on air.
In a statement responding to the move, Al Jazeera said: “Israel accuses us of what we are not.
"Since the beginning of the war, we have broadcast all the press conferences of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, Gallant and the [IDF] chief of staff.
“The images we broadcast are the same images that Israel broadcasts. We have never acted against censorship; we make sure to correspond with the army.”