Government unanimously authorizes shuttering of Al Jazeera’s operations in Israel

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

File: An employee of Qatar-based news network and TV channel Al Jazeera is seen at the outlet's Jerusalem office on July 31, 2017. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
File: An employee of Qatar-based news network and TV channel Al Jazeera is seen at the outlet's Jerusalem office on July 31, 2017. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

The government unanimously authorizes the shuttering of Al Jazeera’s news network operations in Israel, in line with a law passed by the Knesset in April.

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, who strongly advocated for the law, immediately signs the orders to implement the decision.

“Our orders will go into effect immediately. Too much time has passed and there have been too many unnecessary legal hurdles in order to finally stop the well-oiled incitement machine of Al Jazeera, which harms the security of the state,” says Karhi after signing the orders.

“For months I have done everything so that they will not be able to work from Israel any more.”

Karhi is now empowered to order Israel’s television providers to cease broadcasting Al Jazeera; order the channel’s Israeli offices to be closed; confiscate the channel’s equipment, possibly including cellphones; and block access to Al Jazeera’s website.

“We are issuing the orders now; the propaganda [channel] of Hamas, those who incite against Israel, those who harm the security of Israel and IDF soldiers, will not broadcast anymore from Israel and their equipment will be confiscated,” says Karhi.

The law allows foreign media networks to be shuttered for a 45-day period, which can be renewed.

An order to shut down a foreign news channel must be brought within 24 hours for judicial review by the president of a district court, who then has three days to decide whether it will go into effect.

The law itself was passed as a temporary law and will expire on July 31 or earlier if the declaration of an emergency situation is lifted by the government.

Most Popular