Netanyahu Again Mulls Shutdown of Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem Offices, Network Vows to Fight Potential Move
JNS.org – The Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera vowed it will fight attempts by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to shut down its offices in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu last week accused Al Jazeera of inciting violence during the two-week-long Temple Mount crisis that rocked Jerusalem and the disputed territories with Muslim riots and Palestinian terror attacks. In mid-June, Netanyahu had conducted preliminary discussions with Israel’s Government Press Office, Foreign Ministry and security services regarding the possibility of closing Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem operations.
The riots occurring in the wake of Israel’s temporary installation of metal detectors at the Temple Mount were widely covered by Al Jazeera, which provided live updates and hourly reporting from Jerusalem.
“Al Jazeera stresses that it will take all necessary legal measures [if Israel] acts on its threat” to close the network’s Israel offices, the network said in a statement. Al Jazeera also accused Netanyahu of supporting a diplomatic and commercial blockade of Qatar, and supporting the four Arab states that initiated the blockade.
Against the backdrop of the diplomatic dispute between Qatar and Arab states over Qatar’s support for terrorism, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have shut down Al Jazeera’s offices in their countries.