Israel shuts down all Al Jazeera news operations, demonstrating the tyranny of Zionism and abandonment of democratic principles
By Cassie B. // May 07, 2024

Israel has taken the shocking step of shutting down all of Al Jazeera’s news operations in the country in a move that is being condemned as a “dark day for democracy.”

The news network, which is based in Qatar, has been known for hard-hitting, on-the-ground coverage of the war in Gaza and reporting from its offices in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. It has often been critical of the IDF’s military operations and the horrifying effects they are having on civilians in Gaza.

The Israeli Ministry of Communications announced they have now closed Al Jazeera’s offices in Jerusalem and confiscated their communications equipment. They have also stopped their broadcasts via satellite and cable and blocked access to their websites.

Cable providers in the Jewish state have stopped carrying Al Jazeera networks, and viewers are met with a message when they try to tune in that says: “In accordance with the government’s decision, Al Jazeera channel broadcasts were stopped in Israel.”

The appalling shutdown came as negotiations for a ceasefire and potential hostage release continue and the death toll keeps climbing as Gazans grapple with a mounting humanitarian crisis.

Netanyahu wrote on X: “The government headed by me unanimously decided: the incitement channel Al Jazeera will be closed in Israel.”

His government has expressed hostility toward Al Jazeera’s coverage in the past, accusing them of displaying bias against Israel and serving as a “mouthpiece for Hamas.” They have also accused the network of compromising Israel’s security and inciting violence against Israeli soldiers. Last month, the Israeli parliament passed a law that would permit foreign broadcasters to be temporarily closed if they are deemed a threat to national security during the ongoing war.

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Israel draws immediate international criticism for shutting down news outlet

Not surprisingly, the move attracted an immediate slew of criticism, with Human Rights Watch calling it an “assault on freedom of the press.”

“Rather than trying to silence reporting on its atrocities in Gaza, the Israeli government should stop committing them,” their statement added.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said the closure “sets an extremely alarming precedent for restricting international media outlets working in Israel,” while the Foreign Press Association said it was “a dark day for democracy.”

UN Secretary-General spokesperson Stephane Dujarric stated: “As we have said before, we stand firmly against any decision to roll back freedom of the press. A free press provides an invaluable service to ensure that the public is informed and engaged.”

Al Jazeera didn’t mince any words when reacting the news, calling the decision a “criminal act” and accusing Israel of “contravention of international and humanitarian law.”

They said in a statement that they reject Israeli authorities’ claims that they are violating professional media standards. The network said that some of the broadcasting equipment Israeli authorities seized from them include cameras, servers, laptops, cell phones, wireless transmission equipment, routing and editing equipment, and microphones.

The move could raise tensions between Israel and Qatar, which provides funding for the network, just as Doha is playing a central role in negotiations to bring the war to a close.

Al Jazeera is one of just a handful of international media outlets that has been reporting from the ground in Gaza despite the violence, ensuring that the world is aware of the people’s suffering, the hospital conditions, the relentless attacks from Israel and the devastation of the enclave.

International Federation of Journalists Deputy General Secretary Tim Dawson said: “Israel makes much of being a democracy and the idea that it can simply close down an international broadcaster of considerable reputation and history is atrocious.”

Media outlets around the world should be very worried as it’s just a matter of time before Israel starts shutting down any news organization that dares to be critical of Israel or exposes their actions in Gaza.

Sources for this article include:

AlJazeera.com

RT.com

CNN.com



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