Media group urges Israel to step back from plans to block Al Jazeera from operating in Israel

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 Foreign Press Association calls on the Israeli government to halt its plan to temporarily bar the Qatari news outlet Al Jazeera from operating in Israel.

“This is a blatant attempt to stifle the media. Shuttering a media outlet is a step that is characteristic of some of the world’s most repressive governments,” says the group, which represents foreign news organizations operating in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“It is a move that rejects democratic ideals. It also poses a dangerous precedent that could lead the government to shut down other foreign media outlets. We urge the government to step back from this dangerous move,” the FPA says in a statement.

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

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