Israel Moves to Shut Down Al Jazeera, Accusing It Of 'Incitement'

Israel is moving to restrict the operations of the Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera in the country, according to communication minister Ayoub Kara.

Kara said Sunday that the network is being used by some groups to “incite violence,” and said he had made a request to revoke the credentials of the network’s journalists and close its office in Jerusalem, a report on the network’s website said.

"We have based our decision on the move by Sunni Arab states to close the Al Jazeera offices and prohibiting their work," Kara said, at a press conference that the network itself was barred from attending.

Al Jazeera’s report said that Kara’s request covers all of its journalists for both its Arabic and English language versions. Israel is also seeking to shut down the networks’ cable and satellite transmissions in the country, the report said.

According to Reuters, Kara said that local cable and satellite broadcasters had agreed to a plan to take both Al Jazeera’s channels off air. But, he said, closure of the office would require further legislation.

Kara added that the country’s interior ministry would also be involved in the closure of Al Jazeera’s office. It is unclear how long the process of closing the network is likely to take.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously threatened to close the network over what he sees as anti-Israel coverage, including its reporting on the protests at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, a sacred site to both Jews and Muslims, after Israeli authorities implemented new security checks for those entering.

The move follows the closure of Al Jazeera bureaus in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, as part of an ongoing diplomatic and economic boycott against Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt, who accuse the state of supporting terrorism.

Conditions for the lifting of the boycott included the closure of Al Jazeera.

The UAE has also blocked Al Jazeera’s signal, while Egypt banned Al Jazeera years ago.

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