Israel seeks to ban Al Jazeera, blames channel for trying to incite violence

Jerusalem: Israel's communications minister has said he wants to shut down pan-Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera in the country.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Ayoob Kara, of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, said Sunday he wants the news network's press cards revoked and has asked cable providers to block their transmissions. He said he wants them banned altogether. No timetable for the measures was given.

Kara said the station is used by militant groups to "incite" violence.

He said it is "delusional" that Arab states in the region banned Al Jazeera for that reason but Israel has not. "Lately, almost all countries in our region determined that Al Jazeera supports terrorism, supports religious radicalization," Kara said.

"And when we see that all these countries have determined as fact that Al-Jazeera is a tool of the Islamic State (group), Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, and we are the only one who have not determined that then something delusional is happening here."

Jordan and Saudi Arabia have closed Al Jazeera's local offices, while the channel and its affiliate sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.

Doha-based Al-Jazeera did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Its Arab and English channels reported the news.

Walid al-Omari, the broadcaster's bureau chief in Jerusalem, said on air that his office has not been informed by Israeli officials of any possible measures the government might take.

Al Jazeera, a pan-Arab satellite network funded by the Qatari government, already has been targeted by Arab nations now isolating Qatar as part of a months-long political dispute over Doha's politics and alleged support for extremists.

Israeli officials have long accused Al Jazeera of bias against the Jewish state.

 


Updated Date: Aug 06, 2017 19:56 PM

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