Al Jazeera to be blocked in Israel

A number of countries in the Middle East have moved to block the international news channel

Al Jazeera to be blocked in Israel

The Al Jazeera newsroom in Doha, Qatar. Image: Jan Kuhlmann/DPA/PA Images

Israel plans to block Al Jazeera broadcasts and close down its local bureau claiming the news organisation “supports terrorism.”

The country’s communications minister Ayoub Kara said the country will block all the Qatar-based news station's Arabic and English channels and remove the press credentials of its journalists.

Mr Kara accused the station of "supporting terrorism" and said cable broadcasters had agreed to his proposal to take its broadcasts off air.

Closure of the Al Jazeera offices in Jerusalem will require further legislation.

Israel's Communications Minister Ayoub Kara speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem, 06-07-2017. Image: AP Photo/Dusan Vranic

Censorship

Jordan and Saudi Arabia have closed Al Jazeera's local offices, while the channel and its sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.

Al Jazeera reported on its website that it was blocked from attending the news conference where Mr Kara made the announcement.

The news organisation said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been threatening to close its operations in the country, accusing it of inciting violence against Israel.

Mr Netanyahu wrote on Facebook on 26 July that he wanted Al Jazeera expelled amid tensions over a sensitive Jerusalem holy site.

"The Al-Jazeera channel continues to incite violence around the Temple Mount," he wrote, referring to the holy site in Jerusalem, which is known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

"I have appealed to law enforcement agencies several times to close the Al Jazeera office in Jerusalem...If this is not possible because of legal interpretation, I am going to seek to have the necessary legislation adopted to expel Al Jazeera from Israel."