ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Blinken reportedly told Qatari PM to ‘turn down volume of anti-Israel incitement on Al Jazeera’

Illustrative: An employee of Al Jazeera walks past the channel's logo at its headquarters in Doha, Qatar, in 2006. (AP/Kamran Jebreili, File)
Illustrative: An employee of Al Jazeera walks past the channel's logo at its headquarters in Doha, Qatar, in 2006. (AP/Kamran Jebreili, File)

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken asked Qatar’s prime minister to tone down the state-owned Al Jazeera’s rhetoric about the Gaza war, the Axios news site reports.

The request to “turn down the volume on Al Jazeera’s coverage because it is full of anti-Israel incitement” suggests that the US fears the Qatari network’s coverage of the war is inflaming tensions in the region.

The request was one of several Blinken made as part of a broader plea for Qatar to change its public posture toward Hamas, Axios says.

Speaking alongside Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani in Doha earlier this month, Blinken said “there can be no more business as usual with Hamas.”

Qatar has come under fire for hosting Hamas’s political leaders but has leveraged those relationships in negotiations to free the hostages in Gaza.

US officials have been pressed several times on whether they condemn Qatar for hosting Hamas officials and have carefully avoided doing so, instead expressing appreciation for Qatar’s role in releasing four of the 220-plus hostages abducted from Israel and held in Gaza.

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