Israeli lawmakers call to shut down Al Jazeera

Despite the recommendations by the Mossad and Shin Bet, the closure of the network has not been implemented.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

MK Zvi Sukkot (Religious Zionist Party) presented a bill on Thursday, which would force the closure of Al Jazeera‘s offices in Israel because of the security threat he argued it poses, and its publication of what Sukkot described as pro-Hamas propaganda.

Twenty other Knesset members have sponsored the proposal, which aims to put into action a prior government resolution to shutter the offices of the Qatar-based Arabic and English language network.

The statement that accompanied MK Zvi Sukkot’s proposal said, “On October 20, 2023, at the beginning of the ‘Iron Swords’ war, the government approved the emergency closure Al Jazeera TV after evidence came to light that it is assisting the enemy, broadcasting propaganda that serves Hamas in Arabic and English to viewers all over the world, and even transmitting sensitive information to Hamas.”

The statement went on to say that Mossad officials, Shin Bet, and the NCS support the proposal to close Al Jazeera’s offices in Israel because their journalists have exposed soldiers’ locations and other sensitive information and endangers the IDF.

“Despite the recommendations of the security echelon, the closure of the network has not been implemented by the security cabinet, and as a result, the channel is still allowed to broadcast freely in Israel,” the statement said.

The conflict between Al Jazeera and the Israeli government has been evident since 2008 when Israeli officials announced a boycott of the network because of “false, tendentious and one-sided coverage that amounts to propaganda against the IDF’s operation in the Gaza Strip.”

In 2017, Benjamin Netanyahu said that the network was encouraging violence on the Temple Mount and declared he would “work to enact the laws necessary to remove Al Jazeera from Israel.”

Also in 2017, Minister of Communications, Ayoub Kara revealed a four-step plan to cease its broadcasts in Israel and said, “Al Jazeera is a supporter of terrorism in every respect” and that it is “the main tool that caused us the losses of our best sons.”