Israel planning to shut down Al-Jazeera Jerusalem bureau

Jerusalem/ PNN/

 Israel is planning to revoke the media credentials of Al Jazeera TV journalists, close its Jerusalem bureau and pull the Qatar-based station’s broadcasts from local cable and satellite providers, the Israeli Communications Minister Ayoub Kara said on Sunday.

According to Kara, the measures were intended to bolster Israel’s security and “bring a situation that channels based in Israel will report objectively”.

In turn, Al Jazeera Media Network in statement on Sunday denounced the decision, saying it “comes in the context of a campaign that was initiated by a statement made earlier by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu…”

Last month, Netanyahu said he would work to shut the network’s offices in Israel, accusing it of inciting violence in Jerusalem, including over an Old City site that is holy to both Muslims and Jews.

The Israeli move adds further pressure on Qatar, which has been in a dispute with four Arab neighbours:  Saudi, Bahrain, UAE and Yemen, in addition to Egypt, who cut diplomatic and commercial ties with it back in June.