World, Middle East

Israel seeks emergency regulations to shut Al Jazeera’s offices

Israel’s communications minister accuses Qatari news broadcaster of endangering security of Israeli forces

Zein Khalil  | 17.10.2023 - Update : 18.10.2023
Israel seeks emergency regulations to shut Al Jazeera’s offices FILE PHOTO


Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi is seeking the approval of emergency regulations that would allow him to shut down the operations of the Al Jazeera news station in Israel.

The proposed regulations aim to prohibit news organizations from intentionally undermining national security and public order or serving as a basis for “enemy propaganda.”

If approved, the regulations would allow the minister to revoke a foreign media’s broadcast license and confiscate its broadcast equipment if a violation is found.

Although the regulations do not mention Al Jazeera by name, they appear to have been designed to shut down the local offices of the Doha-based television news channel.

Karhi had earlier accused Al Jazeera of endangering the security of Israeli forces by filming their positions and disseminating statements from the Palestinian Hamas group.

Israel’s security cabinet is currently discussing the proposed regulations for approval.

The motion, however, is still opposed by Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara.

The proposed regulations come amid a massive Israeli air campaign in Gaza that has displaced over 1 million people – almost half the enclave’s total population, according to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Gaza is experiencing a dire humanitarian crisis with no electricity, while water, food, fuel and medical supplies are running out as civilians flee to its southern region following an Israeli warning to evacuate its northern areas.

The fighting began when Hamas on Oct. 7 initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea and air. It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque and increased settler violence against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.

At least 2,808 Palestinians, including 750 children, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

More than 1,400 Israelis have been killed in the conflict.

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