Israel moves to shut down Al Jazeera after new law allows

Israel moves to shut down Al Jazeera after new law allows

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to shut down news network Al Jazeera following the passage Monday of a sweeping law allowing the government to ban foreign networks perceived as posing a threat to national security.

Netanyahu said he intended “to act immediately in accordance with the new law” to stop the Qatari-based news outlet’s activity in the country, according to a post on social media platform X following the passage of the law.

Al Jazeera Media Network, which has produced dogged, on the ground reporting of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, slammed the decision in a statement, vowing it would not stop the network from continuing its “bold and professional coverage.”

The new law gives the prime minister and communications minister authority to order the temporary closure of foreign networks operating in Israel – powers that rights groups say could have far-reaching implications on international media coverage of the war in Gaza.

Its approval by Parliament Monday comes months into Israel’s war against Hamas and as Netanyahu faces mounting public pressure – and large public protests – over his handling of operations in Gaza.

Netanyahu’s government has also long complained about Al Jazeera’s operations, alleging anti-Israeli bias.

In his statement on X Monday, the prime minister accused the network of being a trumpet for Hamas and accused it of “actively participating in the October 7 massacre