Israel Plans to Close Local Al Jazeera Offices

Israel plans to ban the Al Jazeera news network from the Jewish state, the communications ministry said Sunday.

Communications minister Ayoub Kara said that he wants to revoke press credentials from Al Jazeera reporters, which would prevent them from working in the country.

Kara made the announcement at a news conference Sunday, which Al Jazeera reporters were barred from attending, the news network reported.

Al Jazeera also said that Kara had moved to shut down both English and Arabic operations in the country.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to shut Al Jazeera offices in Jerusalem last week, accusing the news network of inciting violence in the city, most notably protests of increased security at the al-Asqa Mosque compound which Al Jazeera covered.

Jordan and Saudi Arabia have recently closed local offices of the Qatar-based news network, while the channel and affiliate sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain.

The four countries broke off diplomatic ties with Qatar early last month, accusing Doha of funding terrorism in the region and being too close to rival Iran. The Saudi-led group made a list of 13 demands for Qatar to re-establish ties, one of which was shutting down Al Jazeera completely. Qatar has not complied and denies the accusations.

Source: Voice of America

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