Al-Jazeera 'deplores' Israeli plans to close broadcaster


"We have based our decision on the move by Sunni Arab states to close the Al Jazeera offices and prohibiting their work", Kara said.

These countries have broken the 5 June with Qatar accusing it of supporting "terrorism" and require, among other things, to normalize their relations, the closure of Al-Jazeera. "Freedom of expression is not freedom to incite", Kara said at a press conference.

The Shin-Bet, Israel's domestic security agency, has started investigating Al Jazeera's operations and will produce a report that will determine whether it should be shut down and if its journalists' credentials should be revoked, Nitzan Chen, director of the Government Press Office in Jerusalem, said in a telephone interview.

'And when we see that all these countries have determined as fact that Al Jazeera is a tool of the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, and we are the only one who have not determined that, then something delusional is happening here'.

As the Guardian noted, Al Jazeera has faced crackdowns in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain, with the latter four countries blocking its channel and "affiliate sites". However, it said it was unclear as to when the communication minister's request would come into force.

The leader of Al-Jazeera has challenged israeli accusations of bias in the coverage of the events around the holy places of Jerusalem.

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"The Al Jazeera network continues to stir violence around Har HaBayis", Netanyahu wrote two weeks ago.

Netanyahu congratulated Kara on twitter, writing that: "Following my instructions, he took several practical steps today to stop the actions of incitement by Al Jazeera in Israel".

"Al-Jazeera deplores this action from a state that is called the only democratic state in the Middle East and considers what it has done is unsafe", said the official who declined to be named.

"Our coverage of events in the palestinian territories is professional and objective, and the Israelis have acknowledged a few times because we are keen to present the views and their opposites", he said.

The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, also known as Adalah, also challenged the plan, saying that it would be subject to scrutiny before the Supreme Court, adding that "it would fail the test of legality". "This attack on Al Jazeera is really an attack on all critical independent journalism".