Joining Arab states, Israel says it plans to ban Al-Jazeera

Al Jazeera

Israel today said it plans to ban Qatar’s flagship Al-Jazeera news network from operating in the country, joining regional Arab states that shut down the broadcaster amid allegations that it incites violence.

Communications Minister Ayoob Kara said he plans to revoke the press credentials of Al-Jazeera journalists, effectively preventing them from working in Israel.

Kara said he has asked cable and satellite networks to block Al Jazeera transmissions and is seeking legislation to ban them altogether.

The minister, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, gave no timetable for such measures.

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.

Jordan and Saudi Arabia have recently 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.

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