Israel minister says he wants to revoke Al Jazeera's press cards

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.

There was no immediate comment from Al Jazeera headquarters in Qatar but journalists working for the station in Israel said they did not expect imminent moves against them.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has praised Communications Minister Ayoob Kara's recent decision to close the Qatari-based news channel Al Jazeera's Israel office.

Israel's communications minister, Ayoub Kara, is moving forward with a plan to ban Qatari state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera throughout the country.

Saudi Arabia leads four Arab countries, including Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which broke ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of fostering extremism and who later demanded Al-Jazeera's closure.

An employee of the Qatar-based news network and TV channel Al- Jazeera is seen in the channel's Jerusalem office yesterday.

Walid al-Omari, the broadcaster's bureau chief in Jerusalem, said on air that his office has not been informed by Israeli officials of any possible measures the government might take.


"This attack on Al Jazeera is really an attack on all critical independent journalism". You can not fool me with Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic. "Freedom of expression is not freedom to incite".

"Regimes that want to control power will nearly always go after two targets-the media and the foreigners", the American University in Beirut's Rami Khouri told Al Jazeera.

"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.

The official defended Al-Jazeera's coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, saying it is "professional and objective" and gives both sides of events.

The Arabic-language news channel first launched in 1996, and shook up the media landscape in the Middle East by airing criticisms of governments and rulers in the region.

Al Jazeera has met with accusations of anti-Israel bias and antisemitism for years.


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