Jerusalem, Oct 20 (EFE).- The Israeli government is taking steps to enact emergency regulations that could temporarily shut down media outlets endangering national security amid the ongoing conflict with Palestinian militants.
The measure is primarily aimed at halting broadcasts from the Qatari news channel, Al Jazeera.
The communications ministry has come up with an emergency measure, with the approval of the defense ministry and security forces. The government’s final approval is anticipated soon.
Once the security cabinet gives the green light, the order to close Al Jazeera will take “immediate” effect, as stated in a press release from the communications ministry.
“In light of evidence showing that Al Jazeera’s content is detrimental to national security, the government has authorized actions to close the channel in Israel,” the statement said.
With cabinet approval, the closure order, which includes “suspending broadcasts, shuttering the channel’s offices, revoking journalists’ credentials, and confiscating equipment,” will be signed by the communications minister and implemented promptly.
Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi emphasized that Israel was at “war on land, in the air, at sea, and in the realm of ideas.”
“We will not allow broadcasts to harm the security of the state.”
According to the minister, the “inflammatory broadcasts against Israel,” referring to Al Jazeera’s journalistic work, “serve Hamas and other terrorist organizations by propagating violence against Israel.”
The directive to close the Qatari channel will be executed following the ministry’s collection of evidence that indicates it is aiding the enemy by transmitting propaganda in support of Hamas, both in Arabic and English, to viewers worldwide, even potentially transmitting sensitive information.
Once the security cabinet approves the emergency measure, it will remain in effect for at least three months under the current state of war.
The order to close Al Jazeera will initially be for 30 days, with the possibility of extension for an 30 days more.
Since the conflict with Islamist militias in Gaza began, Al Jazeera has provided continuous coverage of the devastation in the region.
The network boasts an extensive network of journalists on the ground, surpassing that of most other media outlets.
Al Jazeera was also the first media outlet to report from Al Ahli hospital in Gaza City, where an explosion led to the deaths of 470 people on Wednesday, according to Hamas, although the blast’s origin remains unclear. EFE