Israel lawmakers weigh Al Jazeera news broadcast ban

Israel had claimed in January that an Al Jazeera staff journalist and a freelancer killed in an airstrike in Gaza were terror operatives

By AFP

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Fellow journalists carry the body of Hamza Wael Dahdouh, a journalist with Al Jazeera television network, who was killed in a reported Israeli airstrike during his funeral in Rafah in the Gaza Strip on January 7. — AFP file
Fellow journalists carry the body of Hamza Wael Dahdouh, a journalist with Al Jazeera television network, who was killed in a reported Israeli airstrike during his funeral in Rafah in the Gaza Strip on January 7. — AFP file

Published: Mon 1 Apr 2024, 7:32 PM

Israeli lawmakers weighed on Monday a bill that would give top ministers the authority to bar from Israel broadcasts of news channel Al Jazeera.

Israel had claimed in January that an Al Jazeera staff journalist and a freelancer killed in an airstrike in Gaza were "terror operatives". The following month it said another journalist for the channel, wounded in a separate strike, was a "deputy company commander" with Hamas.


Israeli troops have been fighting against Hamas militants in Gaza since October.

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Al Jazeera has fiercely denied the accusations and accused Israel of systematically targeting Al Jazeera employees in Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to take "immediate action" to shut down Al Jazeera in Israel once the law passes.

The bill permitting officials to stop foreign media deemed to harm national security already passed its first parliamentary hurdle last month.

Netanyahu's Likud party said he asked "to make sure that the law to close Al Jazeera will be approved this evening" in Israel's parliament, the Knesset.

Al Jazeera's bureau chief in the Palestinian territory, Wael Al Dahdouh, was also wounded, in an Israeli strike in December that killed the network's cameraman.

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