Cabinet to vote Sunday on law allowing government to close Al Jazeera in Israel — report

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)

The security cabinet reportedly does not hold a scheduled vote during last night’s meeting to approve a law allowing the government to close the Al Jazeera news station in Israel, despite getting the green light from Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara to do so yesterday.

Ynet news reports that the vote will instead be held during Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

The Knesset approved the so-called Al Jazeera law on April 1, giving the government temporary powers to prevent foreign news networks from operating in Israel if they are deemed by security services to be harming national security.

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, who spearheaded the effort to pass the law, vowed immediately after the final vote that the Qatari-funded channel’s operations in Israel would be closed down “in the coming days,” saying “there won’t be freedom of expression for Hamas mouthpieces in Israel.”

The Kan broadcaster reported yesterday that the attorney general had raised the issue that Al Jazeera has not been given the right to a hearing, but said that the law could still be legally brought to a vote in the security cabinet.

Israeli officials have long complained about Al Jazeera’s coverage, which they say is heavily influenced by Hamas and endangers IDF troops in the Gaza Strip amid the fighting ongoing since the terror group’s October 7 onslaught.

In the past they stopped short of taking action, mindful of Qatar’s bankrolling of Palestinian construction projects in Gaza, which were seen by all sides as a means of staving off conflict.

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