Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Middle East War, at the Memorial Site and Armored Corps Museum in Latrun, Israel, June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
CAIRO – 13 June 2017: Israel is considering shutting down the Qatari-based channel, Al Jazeera offices, banning all its activities. This comes after a number of Arab countries cut ties with the Gulf country and its propaganda channel, according to Israeli news website Ynet News.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the decision with cabinet on Monday, giving the order to Government Press Office (GPO), Foreign Ministry, Shin Bet and rest of security establishment to begin studying the issue.
The Israeli news website highlighted the numerous calls to close Al Jazeera's offices in the country over the last few years, over the channel’s negative coverage of Israel.
The decision would not be a “PR disaster” for Israel, according to Ynet news, since it includes 34 employees of Israeli Arabs.
Al Jazeera is expected to petition the Supreme Court, in case the shutdown is done.
Israeli politicians and military persons were welcomed to make an appearance on the Qatari network over the past years.
Commenting on the recent developments, Israeli Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman said Monday: "Israel, along with the Arab states, sees Al Jazeera as a danger, a media body similar to those in Nazi Germany." He also stated that severed ties between Arab countries and Qatar will give Israel the chance to cooperate with Sunni axis to counter-terrorism in the region, according to Raseef 22 website, in referral to extending normalization further in Egypt and Jordan.
In public statements late May, later denied, Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani stressed on the warm relations with Israel, alleging that it enabled Qatar to play a key role in the dialogue between Israel and Hamas, whose leaders are hosted by Qatar on its territories, providing them with logistic and financial aids.
Egypt, along with United Arab of Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya have severed ties with Qatar on June 5, enlisting 59 individuals and 12 entities based in Qatar on terrorism list.
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