Israel approves ‘Al Jazeera’ order to block foreign channels

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Israel’s parliament has approved the so-called “Al-Jazeera law” that allows foreign broadcasters to be blocked if they are deemed to pose a threat to state security, the parliament said on Monday.

Lawmakers voted in favor of the second and third phases.

Under the law, media minister Shlomo Karhi can order the closure of a television station, the confiscation of broadcasting equipment, the removal of a broadcaster from television producers’ programs and the blocking of its website, the ynet website reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that he will immediately campaign to shut down Al-Jazeera if the law is approved, the Times of Israel reported, although similar efforts have failed in the past.

Israel accuses the broadcaster of biased reporting. Al-Jazeera’s programs and reports represent “promoting Israel,” Karhi said last year after the killing of a Palestinian Islamist in Israeli territory.

The reports support terrorist organizations such as Hamas, he said.

Since the beginning of the Gaza war, Al-Jazeera has reported extensively on the tragedy of the Gaza Strip and shown images of death and destruction rarely shown on Israeli television.

The channel also shows videos of Hamas’ armed group, the Qassam Brigades, often attacking Israeli soldiers.

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