Israel gives the green light to clamp down on foreign channels: “Al Jazeera must now close its doors.” The United States “worries.”

The Israeli parliament approved a law allowing the closure of a foreign broadcast station operating in Israel “if it harms the security of the state.” reports it The Times of Israel, Which specifies how the law passed by the Knesset will allow the Minister of Communications to “order content users to stop broadcasting television channels, close Israeli editorial offices, confiscate equipment, block the website from the Internet, if the server is physically located in Israel” or block access to the website” linked to the newspaper. Above all, the Qatar-based television network is in the crosshairs of the Netanyahu government – write in local media Al Jazeera. Welcoming the passage of the law, Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi said, “There will be no freedom of expression for Hamas spokesmen in Israel. Al Jazeera “It will close in the next few days.”

What the law stipulates

Foreign broadcasters will not be able to broadcast for up to 45 days, but the shutdown order can be renewed for another 45 days. Israeli newspapers explained that the decision to close foreign news channels must be subject to judicial review within 24 hours. The President of the District Court must decide within three days whether he intends to cancel, modify or shorten the closure period. The legislation was approved on first reading by the Knesset in February. The tightening of executive authority comes during a period marked by strong protests in several Israeli cities. In Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Beersheba and Haifa, thousands of people took to the streets again this weekend to demand the prime minister's resignation. As for the demonstrators, who are demanding early elections, Netanyahu would not have done enough to release the hostages taken by Hamas after the October 7 attack, but would have acted in a destructive manner.

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White House concern

The move of the ruling majority in Israel did not satisfy the United States at all. White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said in response to a question at the daily press conference that if these reports are true, the passage of the law “raises deep concern.”

Cover photo: ANSA/Atef Al-Safadi | Al Jazeera editorial team (2017)

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