Bibi's deal.

Bibi's deal.

Netanyahu to shut down Al Jazeera office in Israel; GPO cards cancelled

PM wants legal steps taken to deny press cards of all Al Jazeera journalists

Agency Report | Tel Aviv | 7 September, 2017 | 11:30 PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the cancellation of the credentials of all Al Jazeera reporters in the country and reiterated his intention to shut the Qatari news network’s bureau, the Government Press Office (GPO) announced on Thursday.

“At the same time, the Prime Minister instructed that legal steps be taken to deny the press cards of all Al Jazeera journalists working in Israel and to close their office,” said the GPO.

On August 30, the press office said it would not cancel the credentials of an Al Jazeera reporter, Elias Karram, after holding a hearing over his alleged support of Palestinian “resistance”, reports Xinhua news agency.

Karram was called for the hearing after a television interview he gave in 2016 surfaced.

In the interview, he said “as a Palestinian journalist in an occupied area or in a conflict zone, media work is an integral part of the resistance and its educational political activity”.

Karram was summoned for the hearing at the request of Israel’s Communications Minister Ayoob Kara, who asked the GPO to revoke the press cards of Al Jazeera personnel in Israel on the grounds that the network was “inciting and agitating violence in a way that harmed the security of the state”.

Karram, 40, is an Israeli citizen who resides in Nazareth, and has had a GPO card as an Al Jazeera reporter since 2011.

Foreign journalists need to hold GPO cards to enter official events and to get in and out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (IANS)