Prominent Israeli figures suggest that the decision to close Al Jazeera's offices in Israel, a move that was initially advocated by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi has been set aside. According to these sources, strategic and security considerations have prevailed in the matter.
The reason behind retaining the television network in Israel is closely tied to the crucial role Qatar plays in negotiations for the release of captives held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Qatar views Al Jazeera as a critical asset in this process, and Israeli authorities believed that shutting down the network would adversely impact these negotiations.
Although the decision to close the network's offices in Israel had been preliminarily approved by the government and was expected to undergo scrutiny by the expanded security cabinet, officials ultimately decided to shelve the entire plan.
Senior legal experts pointed out that there was no justification for the closure, emphasizing that the network's transparency contradicts allegations to the contrary. Al Jazeera has refrained from disclosing the locations of Israeli security forces and, whenever approached, promptly removed any content that might compromise them.
A government official has disclosed that, after the administration decided to close the network, a division arose within the security agencies regarding whether Al Jazeera's broadcasts from Israel indeed posed a threat to national security. There was no unanimous consensus on this issue. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who was supposed to present a recommendation to the cabinet on whether to proceed with the closure, chose not to do so.