Israel Approves Bill To Allow Al Jazeera Broadcast Ban Amid Hamas War

Netanyahu has vowed to take “immediate action” to shut down Al Jazeera in Israel (File)

Jerusalem:

The Israeli parliament passed a bill Monday giving top ministers the authority to bar from Israel the broadcasts of news channel Al Jazeera — a step Premier Benjamin Netanyahu is poised to take.

This law, which passed by 70 votes to 10, carries the authority to ban the broadcast of content from foreign channels but also allows the closing of their offices in Israel.

Netanyahu has vowed to take “immediate action” to shut down Al Jazeera in Israel once the law passes.

Israel had claimed in January that an Al Jazeera staff journalist and a freelancer killed in an air strike in Gaza were “terror operatives”.

The following month it said another journalist for the channel, wounded in a separate strike, was a “deputy company commander” with Hamas.

Israeli troops have been fighting against Hamas in Gaza since October.

Al Jazeera has fiercely denied the accusations and accused Israel of systematically targeting Al Jazeera employees in the Gaza Strip.

The bill permitting officials to stop foreign media deemed to harm national security had already passed its first parliamentary hurdle last month.

Netanyahu’s Likud party said he asked “to make sure that the law to close Al Jazeera will be approved this evening” in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in the Palestinian territory, Wael al-Dahdouh, was also wounded, in an Israeli strike in December that killed the network’s cameraman.

The war between Israel and Hamas began with the militant group’s October 7 attack that resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory campaign has killed at least 32,845 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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