Israel Set To Ban Al Jazeera From Broadcasting in Country

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Getty Images)
April 1, 2024

Israel is set to ban Qatari state-controlled news outlet Al Jazeera within its borders after passing a law on Monday that allows officials to shut down foreign media networks deemed harmful to Israel’s national security.  

"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," Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an X post on Monday, noting the Qatari outlet "harmed Israel’s security, actively participated in the October 7 massacre, and incited [violence] against IDF soldiers."

The law, which passed hours earlier in a 71-10 vote in the Israeli parliament, gives Netanyahu and communications minister Shlomo Karhi temporary powers to prevent any foreign media organization from operating in Israel if it is believed to be threatening national security. 

Karhi, one of the law’s lead proponents, said immediately after the law was passed that the Israeli government would shut down Al Jazeera "in the coming days." The communications minister called Al Jazeera a "Hamas mouthpiece" and accused the outlet of "using freedom of the press to harm Israel’s security and IDF soldiers" and "[inciting] terrorism during a time of war."

Al Jazeera in its coverage of the Hamas Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel questioned reports of mass civilian slaughter and sexual assault. The outlet has also been exposed for employing several Hamas terrorists as reporters. Last week, without issuing any statement, it quietly deleted a story it had published for over 24 hours that featured fabricated allegations that Israeli soldiers raped Palestinian women at a hospital in Gaza.

"We used to think of Al Jazeera as incitement to terrorism. Now we’ve seen the evidence of al Jazeera’s material support to terrorism, including its own employees exposed as Hamas operatives," Rich Goldberg, senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told National Review. "Shutting them down in Israel is a no-brainer. The only question I’d ask is why the U.S. doesn’t have sanctions on this terror-supporting outlet, too."