Israel’s Parliament approves law allowing Netanyahu’s government to close Al Jazeera; US treats measure as ‘worrying’ | World

Israel’s Parliament approves law allowing Netanyahu’s government to close Al Jazeera; US treats measure as ‘worrying’ | World
Israel’s Parliament approves law allowing Netanyahu’s government to close Al Jazeera; US treats measure as ‘worrying’ | World
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1 of 1 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — Photo: Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — Photo: Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP

The Knesset, the Parliament of Israelapproved this Monday (1st) a law that allows the government to close the Al Jazeera TV network in the country. The project received 71 votes in favor and 10 against, according to the Israeli newspaper “Haaretz”.

Even before the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had stated, through his party’s spokesman, Likud, that “will take immediate action to close Al Jazeera in accordance with the procedure established by law.”

Al Jazeera is a Qatar-based TV network that receives direct funding from the Doha regimealthough it claims to maintain editorial independence.

Israel had previously accused the broadcaster of provoking unrest against the country among Arab viewers.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said the possibility of Al Jazeera being closed by Netanyahu’s government was “concerning.” The United States is Israel’s biggest ally, but the relationship between the two countries is strained.

When contacted by Reuters, the broadcaster’s main office in Israel and the Qatari government did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the prime minister’s speech. Al Jazeera has already accused Israel of deliberately attacking its offices and staffincluding journalists from the broadcaster in Gaza.

Israeli authorities have long complained about Al Jazeera’s coverage but stopped short of taking action.

Rounds of negotiations in Doha

Since the war in Gaza, which broke out on October 7, with murders and kidnappings committed by fighters from Hamas, which controls the territory, Doha has been mediating ceasefire negotiations. In November last year, Israel recovered some of the hostages during a truce negotiated through these talks.

Asked whether the threat against Al Jazeera could be part of such pressure, an Israeli government spokesman, Avi Hyman, did not respond directly, although described the broadcaster as “committed to spreading propaganda for many, many years”.

Israel’s Communications Minister accused the broadcaster on October 15 of pro-Hamas incitement and exposing Israeli troops to ambushes. Al Jazeera and the Doha government have not responded to these allegations.

The following month, Israel appeared to spare the Qatari network, instead ordering the end of local broadcasts of a smaller pro-Iranian Lebanese channel, Al Mayadeen.

The bill that is expected to be ratified this Monday was approved in its first reading in the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, last February.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Israels Parliament approves law allowing Netanyahus government close Jazeera treats measure worrying World

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