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Al Jazeera vows to pursue legal action relentlessly until the end regarding the Israel ban

Al Jazeera is committed to exhausting all legal avenues “until the end” in challenging Israel’s ban on its operations there, as stated by the TV network’s news director in an interview.

Following the Israeli government’s decision to shut down the Qatar-based station over its coverage of the Gaza conflict, Al Jazeera English news director Salah Nagm affirmed on Monday that the network would explore every possible legal recourse. He emphasized, “If there is a possibility of challenging that decision, we are going to pursue it until the end.”

Under the unanimous cabinet decision led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem offices were closed, its equipment seized, and its team’s accreditations revoked.

Nagm highlighted that the confiscated equipment and the losses incurred from halting broadcasts would be subjects of legal action.

Initially valid for 45 days, the Israeli government stated that the order could be extended. Shortly after the decision, screens in Israel broadcasting Al Jazeera’s Arabic and English channels displayed a message in Hebrew indicating that they had been “suspended in Israel.”

‘An action from the 60s’

The shutdown does not apply to the Israeli-occupied West Bank or Gaza Strip, where Al Jazeera continues to broadcast live on Israel’s conflict with Hamas. Al Jazeera condemned Israel’s decision as “criminal,” stating it violates the human right to access information.

However, Al Jazeera’s news director downplayed the ban’s impact on coverage and accessibility, noting that despite the website being blocked in Israel, viewers can still access content through virtual private network.

The decision followed Israel’s parliament passing a new national security law granting ministers powers to ban foreign channel broadcasts over security threats. Netanyahu accused Al Jazeera correspondents of harming Israel’s security and inciting against IDF soldiers.

‘Arbitrary decision’

Nagm criticized the Israeli government’s ban on Al Jazeera broadcasts as arbitrary. Since the Gaza conflict’s onset, Al Jazeera’s Palestinian office has been bombed, resulting in casualties among its staff. Gaza bureau chief Wael al-Dahdouh was wounded, and his family members, including two children and a grandson, were killed in Israeli strikes.

Additionally, Dahdouh’s eldest son, also an Al Jazeera journalist, died in another Israeli strike. The conflict has claimed the lives of at least 97 journalists and media workers, necessitating a vigilant and cautious reporting approach to convey the war’s severity and its impact on both civilians and journalists.

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