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Al Jazeera’s Israeli HQ Raided By Police After Netanyahu Called It “Hamas Mouthpiece”

Al Jazeera’s Israeli HQ Raided By Police After Netanyahu Called It “Hamas Mouthpiece”

On Sunday the offices of Al Jazeera in Jerusalem were raided by Israeli police, after the Knesset voted unanimously voted to ban the Qatar-based news network.

The Israeli order effectively shuts down all Al Jazeera broadcasts in Israel and the West Bank. To implement the ban, authorities confiscated equipment at the channel’s Jerusalem HQ inside the Ambassador Hotel.

Additionally Israel will block Al Jazeera’s website after PM Netanyahu alleged that it is a “Hamas mouthpiece.” He has further claimed that the outlet’s coverage of Gaza has put Israeli troops in danger.

“Al Jazeera reporters harmed Israel’s security and incited against soldiers,” Netanyahu said previously. He has for weeks been mounting a public campaign against it.

Al Jazeera has responded by calling the claim a “dangerous and ridiculous lie” and further said “pursue every legal step” to fight being shut down by Israel.

Interestingly, last year the Biden administration also began complaining about the channel’s coverage, with an October Axios report saying that Secretary of State Antony Blinken requested that the Qataris “turn down the volume on Al Jazeera’s coverage because it is full of anti-Israel incitement.”

The outlet has said in a statement, “Israel’s ongoing suppression of the free press, seen as an effort to conceal its actions in the Gaza Strip, stands in contravention of international and humanitarian law.”

According to a review by Axios:

Israel’s legislative body, the Knesset, passed a measure last month that empowers Israel’s communications minister to take action against any foreign media network that it can prove poses a national security risk.

The law gives senior government officials power to temporarily shutter foreign news networks on national security grounds for at least 45 days, but that period can be extended.

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