Israel plans to ban Al Jazeera over 'support for terror'

Employees of Qatar based news network and TV channel Al Jazeera are seen at their Jerusalem office

Israel has announced plans to effectively expel the Al Jazeera network from the country, revoking journalists' credentials, shutting the company's bureau in Jerusalem and pulling its broadcasts from national cable and satellite television networks. Closure of the station's office would require further legislation, he added.

Pan-Arab news broadcaster Al Jazeera has threatened to pursue all legal channels in response to Israel's announcement it would bar the Arabic and English networks in the country.

'And when we see that all these countries have determined as fact that Al Jazeera is a tool of the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, and we are the only one who have not determined that, then something delusional is happening here'.

"Lately, nearly all countries in our region determined that Al-Jazeera supports terrorism, supports religious radicalization", Kara said.

Saudi Arabia and Jordan have both shut Al Jazeera bureaux this year as part of the ongoing "cold war" playing out in the Gulf, which culminated in the full blockade of Qatar.

He accused the Qatar-based broadcaster of "inciting violence which has provoked losses among the best of our sons", referring to two Druze policemen who were killed in a July 14 attack near the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in east Jerusalem.

Asked if shutting down Al Jazeera's operations would make Israel appear to oppose freedom of the press, an official close to the prime minister said the country accepted diverse opinions but not incitement.

The leader of Al-Jazeera has challenged israeli accusations of bias in the coverage of the events around the holy places of Jerusalem.

Kara said he expects Israel's parliament, the Knesset, to consider his request in the next session.

"The Al Jazeera network continues to stir violence around Har HaBayis", Netanyahu wrote two weeks ago. "If this does not happen because of legal interpretation, I will work to enact the required legislation to expel Al Jazeera from Israel", Netanyahu added.

Palestinians refused to enter the site for almost two weeks over the new security measures imposed after three Israeli Arabs shot dead the policemen nearby.

Al Jazeera has come under attack from several governments in the region in recent months to the concern of free press campaigners.

Netanyahu has, however, frequently criticized news media in general, accusing various outlets of seeking to undermine his government.

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