Security cabinet approves barring pro-Hezbollah al Mayadeen satellite news station

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

A general view of the newsroom of Al-Mayadeen in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, June 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
A general view of the newsroom of Al-Mayadeen in Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, June 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

The security cabinet approves orders to shut down the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese al Mayadeen satellite news station’s broadcasts and operations in Israel.

The request to shut down the station was made by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, who says Al Mayadeen’s broadcasts “serve the interests of Israel’s enemies” and harm Israel’s national security.

Karhi’s request was approved by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and the security cabinet.

An order to block Al Mayadeen’s online operations in Israel has already been issued, and an order to seize and confiscate its broadcasting equipment will be issued later today.

“Israel is at war. On land, in the air, at sea in cyberspace, in the electromagnetic spectrum and in [the public] consciousness,” says Karhi.

“Broadcasts such as these identify with the enemy, while harming state security and will be blocked. Al Mayadeen’s channel’s broadcasts and reports serve the despicable terrorist organizations, and the time has come for a reckoning with them.

The order to shut down Al Mayadeen is the first such decision to be made in line with a temporary measure approved last month allowing the communications minister to shut down foreign media outlets deemed to be harmful to national security.

Karhi also seeks to shut down the Qatari-based Al Jazeera channel for the same reasons.

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