wnol.info August 23 2017

Israel targets Al Jazeera offices; to take the network off-air

August 23 2017, 10:59 | Irvin Gilbert

Workers at the al Jazeera offices in Jerusalem

Workers at the al Jazeera offices in Jerusalem

Israel announced on Sunday its intention to close the offices of Al-Jazeera, accused by the authorities of engaging in "incitement" to violence, announced that the israeli ministry of Communications.

An official at Al-Jazeera in Doha said the channel "deplores this action from a state that is called the only democratic state in the Middle East and considers what it has done is dangerous".

He said the broadcaster "will follow up the subject through appropriate legal and judicial procedures".

Israel is moving forward to revoke media credentials of Al Jazeera journalists and close the network's office in Jerusalem, the country's communication minister has announced.

In the past few years, Sunni Arab states have accused Qatar of funding extremist groups like al-Qaeda, Hamas and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, though the Qatari government insists it is being scapegoated.

Al-Jazeera's local offices have been shut in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and the channel and affiliate sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.

"Al Jazeera will continue to cover the events of the occupied Palestinian territories professionally and accurately, according to the standards set by worldwide agencies, such as the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom)". "Here in Israel, there is no place for a channel that backs terrorism either".

Israel also wants to shut down Al Jazeera's cable and satellite transmissions in the country, the network reported. "The Al-Jazeera channel continues to incite violence around the Temple Mount", Netanyahu wrote in a Facebook post, referring to the Haram Al-Sharif compound in Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount. Netanyahu heads what is seen as the most right-wing government in Israeli history.

The network's offices in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank city of Ramallah would not be affected. After protests by Palestinians, the Israeli government removed the metal detectors and other security methods.

The Foreign Press Association, which represents journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories for worldwide news organizations, said the move "is certainly a cause for concern".

Last month, when reports first surfaced that the channel may be taken off the air, Al Jazeera stresses that it will take "all necessary legal measures (if Israel) acts on its threat".

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