‘Remove the Hamas Mouthpiece’

(StraightShooterNews.com) – Stepping up the fight against terrorism, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his government decided to close the local offices of Al Jazeera, a Qatari-owned broadcaster.

“Al Jazeera reporters harmed Israel’s security and incited against soldiers,” Netanyahu declared. “It’s time to remove the Hamas mouthpiece from our country.”

This action makes Israel’s ongoing conflict with the network worse during a critical period of Qatar-mediated cease-fire negotiations with Hamas.

Netanyahu’s office stated that the closure was effective immediately and meant potentially shutting down Al Jazeera’s offices in Israel, seizing their broadcasting equipment, blocking their reports and restricting access to its websites.

Israeli media detailed that this measure allows the government to ban the channel’s operations in the country for 45 days.

This move marks a rare instance of Israel shutting down a foreign news outlet. Last month, the Israeli government passed a law so it could take action against foreign channels working against national security.

Al Jazeera’s response was not available immediately, but the network’s correspondents discussed how this decision could impact their operations in Israel and East Jerusalem. However, it would not affect their activities in the Palestinian territories.

The closure comes at a tense time. Qatar plays a key mediator role in the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

However, Netanyahu’s criticisms complicate Qatar’s role for not pressuring Hamas enough in truce negotiations.

The decision has stirred controversy within Israel as well. National Unity party members criticized the shutdown’s timing by suggesting it could jeopardize delicate cease-fire talks.

For a long time, Al Jazeera has been a controversial entity in Israel, which accuses the network of bias.

This friction escalated following Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh’s death last year and worsened with the recent conflict that began on October 7.

The situation got worse when an Israeli airstrike killed an Al Jazeera cameraman in Gaza.

The closure of Al Jazeera’s offices highlights tensions between Qatar and several other Middle Eastern countries that have blocked the network during political fights.

Israel’s latest move is similar to when Egypt shut Al Jazeera down after the 2013 military coup, which also led to arrests and significant international criticism.

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