Israel to ban Al Jazeera with new anti-media law

Editorial credit: Philip Lange /

Israel’s Prime Minister has branded Qatar’s Al Jazeera a “terrorist channel” amid the introduction of a new Israeli law which allows a total shutdown of foreign broadcasters.

On April 1, the Israeli Knesset voted strongly in favour of the new law which would allow the authorities to shut down any broadcaster deemed “a threat to national security.”

After the vote, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to X to directly attack Al Jazeera, saying it was a “terrorist channel.”

“Al Jazeera harmed Israel’s security, actively participated in the October 7 massacre, and incited against IDF soldiers. It is time to remove the shofar of Hamas from our country. The terrorist channel Al Jazeera will no longer broadcast from Israel. I intend to act immediately in accordance with the new law to stop the channel’s activity. I welcome the law promoted by Communications Minister Shlomo Karai with the support of coalition members led by coalition chairman Ofir Katz.”

In response, Al Jazeera Media Network denounced the Israeli Prime Minister’s “slanderous accusations.”

In a statement, the Qatar-based news organisation said: “Netanyahu could not find any justifications to offer the world for his ongoing attacks on Al Jazeera and press freedom except to present new lies and inflammatory slanders against the network and the rights of its employees.

“Al Jazeera reiterates that such slanderous accusations will not deter us from continuing our bold and professional coverage, and reserves the right to pursue every legal step.”

Sign up for regular updates straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest news and updates from around the Muslim world!

AJ added that it held the Israeli Prime Minister responsible for the safety of its staff and premises around the world “following his incitement and this false accusation in a disgraceful manner.”

Al Jazeera is a 24-hour global news organisation funded by the Qatari government.

When AJ launched from the Qatari capital, Doha, on November 1, 1996, it was the first news channel of its kind in the Arab world to promote relative free speech.

AJ’s coverage of the Israeli regime’s aggression against the Palestinians has led to a tense relationship with Tel Aviv.

Israel has a history of targeting Al Jazeera journalists and a number have been killed while reporting in occupied Palestine.

Vigil for veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh Editorial credit: Anas-Mohammed /

In 2022, renowned Arab-American correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh was killed while she was covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank town of Jenin.

In December 2023, journalists Samer Abudaqa and Hamza Dahdouh, son of Al Jazeera’s Wael Dahdouh, were killed by Israeli forces during the current war on Gaza.

Al Jazeera again condemned Israel for the “deliberate targeting of a number of AJ journalists and their family members, including the arrest and intimidation of its correspondents in the field.”

A White House spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, said an Israeli move to shut down Al Jazeera would be “concerning.”

“The United States supports the critically important work journalists around the world and that includes those who are reporting in the conflict in Gaza,” Jean-Pierre told reporters.

Israeli PM Netanyahu’s move to outlaw certain foreign media comes amid growing gloabl outrage over the mass killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

in January, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), ordered Israel, almost unanimously, to stop doing what it is doing to Palestinians in Gaza saying that it amounts “plausibly” to genocide.

According to the latest figures from the Gaza Health Ministry, the death toll has soared to 32,490 including 14,200 children and 9,340 women.

According to Reporters Without Borders, 103 Palestinian journalists have been killed by the IDF since Hamas launched its attack on Israel, sparking the war in Gaza.

Add your comments below

Previous articleIsrael bombs Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing at least six
Next articleThe UK must place sanctions and arms embargo on Israel