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UN expresses regret over Israel's decision to terminate broadcasts of Al Jazeera TV
Published on: Monday, May 06, 2024
By: Bernama
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UN expresses regret over Israel's decision to terminate broadcasts of Al Jazeera TV
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ANKARA:  The United Nations (UN) criticised a decision by Israeli authorities to shut down the local offices of Al Jazeera television on Sunday.

“We regret the cabinet's decision to close Al Jazeera in Israel. A free and independent media is essential to ensuring transparency and accountability. Now, even more so, given tight restrictions on reporting from Gaza,” Anadolu Agency (AA) quoted the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) as saying on X.

“Freedom of expression is a key human right,” said the OHCHR, urging the Israeli government to overturn the ban.

Israeli authorities raided the offices of Doha-based Al Jazeera television in Jerusalem and confiscated its equipment shortly after a government decision to shut down the broadcaster.

Video footage released by the office of Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi showed Israeli officials entering the office and documenting the equipment inside.

According to *The Times of Israel* newspaper, the news channel was pulled off the air in the country and is no longer available on its two biggest TV providers, Yes and Hot.

Last month, Israel’s Knesset, or parliament, passed legislation allowing the closure of Al Jazeera television.

Under the legislation, the communications minister is empowered to shut down foreign networks operating in Israel and confiscate their equipment if the country’s defence minister identifies that their broadcasts pose “an actual harm to the state’s security.”

Al Jazeera has an office in Israel and a team of correspondents working year-round, including covering Israel’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip, which has killed nearly 34,700 people since Oct 7, 2023.

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