Israel Approves Law To Shut Down Al Jazeera Offices Over Security Concerns

Himalaya Times
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The Israeli government has approved new regulations that will allow it to temporarily shut down the bureaus of news channel Al Jazeera amid the ongoing war with Hamas citing that the outlet's reports were damaging national security, The Times of Israel reported on Friday.

According to the daily, Israel Communication Minister Shlomo Karhi has led the charge to pass these regulations in order to shut down the Al Jazeera news channel, which he claims has damaged national security.

The regulations are retroactive, meaning broadcasts by the Qatari network since the war started can now be used as the basis for a decision to shut down the staunchly pro-Palestinian news outlet's local branch.

"Israel is at war on land, in the air, at sea, and on the public diplomacy front. We will not allow in any way broadcasts that harm the security of the state... The broadcasts and reports of Al Jazeera constitute incitement against Israel, help Hamas-ISIS and the terror organizations with their propaganda, and encourage violence against Israel," says Karhi.

According to the new regulations, the communications minister -- with the agreement of the defence minister -- will be able to order TV providers to stop broadcasting the news outlet in question; close its offices in Israel, seize its equipment, and shut down its website or restrict access to its website, depending on the location of its server, The Times of Israel reported.

The decision must be approved by the security cabinet, must be based on legal opinions by the security establishment that the outlet is indeed harming national security, and is subject to the review of a district court.

As per The Times of Israel, such a decision will be valid for 30 days but can be extended for additional 30-day periods. The emergency regulations will be in place for three months, or until the specific state of emergency is formally ended by the government.



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