What happened?

  • The Israeli government unanimously approved the temporary closure of Al Jazeera’s news network operations in Israel for 45 days, citing potential security threats and the network’s hostile coverage of the war in Gaza.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi led the effort against Al Jazeera, accusing the network of being a “well-oiled incitement machine” that jeopardizes Israeli security and incites against IDF soldiers.

  • The decision includes closing Al Jazeera’s offices, seizing broadcast equipment, cutting cable TV and satellite broadcast, and blocking their website.

  • Al Jazeera condemned the allegations and held Netanyahu responsible for the safety of its staff, while promising to fight the Israeli ban by any legal means available.

What is Arab media saying:

  • Al Jazeera’s office director in Israel and the Palestinian territories stated that the Israeli government’s decision is “dangerous” and politically motivated, lacking in professionalism, and the legal team at Al Jazeera is preparing to respond to the decision, possibly through legal action. [alarab.co.uk]

  • Political, party, and human rights groups in Palestine view the Israeli government’s actions as a violation of freedoms, suppression of journalistic work, and an attempt to hide the truth regarding Gaza. [aljazeera.net]

  • The closure of Al Jazeera offices and online presence may indicate Israel’s intent to continue aggression against Gaza and escalate atrocities against Palestinians unchecked. [aljazeera.net]

  • Media freedom organizations have condemned Israel’s closure of Al Jazeera, labeling it as undemocratic and dangerous. [balkans.aljazeera.net, aljazeera.net]

  • The law targeting Al Jazeera is driven by political and populist reasons, aimed at silencing foreign media critical of Israeli policies rather than genuine security threats. [aljazeera.net, balkans.aljazeera.net]

  • Hamas condemned the closure of Al Jazeera’s offices in Israel as a repressive and vindictive measure against the channel’s role in exposing Israeli crimes. [aljazeera.net]

What is international media saying:

  • Israel accused Al Jazeera of biased reporting and approved a law in April allowing temporary closure of foreign broadcasters deemed a security threat. [dw.com]

  • Al Jazeera’s director in Israel and Palestine says the closure is political, not based on professionalism or journalism. [dw.com]

  • Israeli law allows Netanyahu and his security cabinet to shut down news agencies in Israel for up to 45 days, extendable until the end of July or the Gaza war’s end. [dw.com]

What is Israeli media saying:

  • The decision was made under a law preventing foreign broadcasters from harming state security and was approved by the Attorney General. [i24news.tv, timesofisrael.com, ynetnews.com]

  • The Foreign Press Association (FPA) condemned Israel’s decision, calling it concerning for supporters of a free press and a dark day for both the media and democracy. The FPA urged Israel to reverse the decision and uphold freedom of the press, even for outlets it disagrees with. [timesofisrael.com]

  • The National Unity party boycotted the vote due to concerns about the timing of the decision. [timesofisrael.com, jpost.com]