Friday, May 24, 2024

Israeli Police Raid Al Jazeera Office in Jerusalem

Israeli police conducted a raid on a Jerusalem hotel room used as the de facto office for Al Jazeera on Sunday, in compliance with a government decision to shut down the Qatari-owned TV station's local operations. According to Reuters, video footage circulated online depicted plainclothes officers dismantling camera equipment in a hotel room located in East Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet ordered the shutdown of Al Jazeera's operations for the duration of the Gaza conflict, citing national security concerns. Al Jazeera condemned the move as a "criminal action" and dismissed allegations of threatening Israeli security as baseless and endangering its journalists.

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Read: Israeli Parliament Passes Law Allowing Ban on Al Jazeera Broadcasts

Netanyahu announced the closure on social media, stating, "The incitement channel Al Jazeera will be closed in Israel," following a unanimous cabinet vote. The government's directive includes closing Al Jazeera's offices, confiscating broadcast equipment, disconnecting the channel from cable and satellite networks, and blocking its websites.

While the Qatari government deferred to Al Jazeera for comment, the network reiterated its commitment to providing news and information despite the shutdown. Al Jazeera denounced Israeli efforts to curtail its operations as an "escalation" and emphasized its right to access information and serve global audiences.

The network's stance comes amidst accusations of deliberate targeting of its journalists by Israeli authorities, with instances of journalists being killed during the conflict in Gaza. Israel has denied targeting journalists, asserting its actions are in response to security threats.

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"Al Jazeera Media Network strongly condemns and denounces this criminal act that violates human rights and the basic right to access of information," the network said in a statement.

"Al Jazeera affirms its right to continue to provide news and information to its global audiences."

The UN Human Rights Office also criticised the closure.

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Aarav Joshi
Aarav Joshi
Aarav Joshi is a seasoned content writer with a passion for covering worldly and international news stories. His journey in journalism began as a reporter for the BBC, where he honed his skills in researching and crafting compelling narratives. He has also contributed articles to 'The Times of India,' one of India's leading newspapers, delving into diverse topics ranging from politics and economics to culture and human interest stories.
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