Israeli authorities raid Al Jazeera after issuing shutdown order

Israeli authorities conducted a raid on a hotel room in Jerusalem, which Al Jazeera had been using as its office, following the Israeli government’s decision to close down the Qatari-owned TV station’s local operations.

According to both an Israeli official and a source from Al Jazeera, the shutdown occurred on Sunday. Video footage shared online depicted undercover officers dismantling camera equipment in what the Al Jazeera source confirmed as being located in East Jerusalem.

The decision to shut down Al Jazeera’s operations locally was made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, citing concerns over national security amidst ongoing conflict in Gaza. Netanyahu himself announced the closure via social media after a unanimous cabinet vote.

Al Jazeera to pursue legal action

Al Jazeera responded, condemning the move as a “criminal action” and refuting claims that the network posed a threat to Israeli security, deeming the accusation as baseless and endangering its journalists. The network vowed to pursue legal action in response.

Al jazeera

Al Jazeera has been vocal in its criticism of Israel’s military actions in Gaza, where it has been actively reporting throughout the conflict.

The government’s measures included closing Al Jazeera’s offices, confiscating broadcast equipment, ceasing transmission via cable and satellite providers, and blocking access to its websites. Israeli broadcasters suspended Al Jazeera’s broadcasts following the government’s decision.

The Qatari government, to which Al Jazeera defers, offered no official comment on the matter. Al Jazeera had previously accused Israel of targeting and killing its journalists during the conflict, a claim Israel has denied.

Established by Qatar in 1996, Al Jazeera is viewed as a tool to enhance Qatar’s global influence.

Al Jazeera issues a statement

In response to the closure, Al Jazeera Media Network issued a statement condemning the action as a violation of human rights and the public’s right to information.

Al jazeera

The UN Human Rights Office also criticized the move, emphasizing the importance of a free and independent media for transparency and accountability, especially in conflict zones like Gaza.

The closure was made possible by a law ratified by Israel’s parliament, allowing for the temporary closure of foreign broadcasters deemed to threaten national security.

The law grants Netanyahu and the security cabinet the authority to close Al Jazeera’s offices in Israel for up to 45 days, with the possibility of extension, potentially until the end of July or until major military operations in Gaza cease.

Qatar, meanwhile, has been involved in mediation efforts to broker a ceasefire and secure the release of hostages in Gaza.

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