Government approves emergency regulations that will allow closure of Al Jazeera

The government has approved regulations that will make it possible to shut down foreign broadcasters that harm the state's security; Communications minister: 'Al Jazeera's broadcasts and reports constitute incitement against Israel … and even transmits sensitive information to our enemies'

Israel's government has approved emergency regulations that will allow it to close down foreign broadcasters that harm the state's security, regulations that are aimed at shutting down Qatar-based Al Jazeera.
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The emergency regulations were brought by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi with the support of Israel's security forces and in coordination with the attorney general, under the direction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Israel is at war on land, in the air, at sea, and on the public diplomacy front. We will not allow in any way broadcasts that harm the security of the state," Karhi said. "The broadcasts and reports of Al Jazeera constitute incitement against Israel, help Hamas-ISIS and the terror organizations with their propaganda, and encourage violence against Israel, thereby actually harming the security of the state."
Acting director general of the ministry, Maimon Shamila, noted that the channel has broadcast content that harms national security and that the ministry "will continue to work to strengthen the communications infrastructure on the one hand, and to eradicate the use of communications infrastructure by our enemy as much as necessary."
The ministry's announcement reads: "After strenuous activity by the Minister of Communications and his office staff, with the support of the Mossad, the Shin Bet and the Defense Ministry of Defense, and after examining all the required legal aspects and reaching agreements with the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, the government approved regulations that will allow the cessation of activities of a foreign broadcasting organization that harms the security of the state, for the duration of the war. The closure of the Al Jazeera network in Israel comes after the presentation of evidence that it helps the enemy, broadcasts propaganda in the service of Hamas in Arabic and English to viewers all over the world, and even transmits sensitive information to our enemies."
The proposal to close Al Jazeera, in accordance with the emergency regulations submitted by the Minister of Communications for the government's approval, is expected to be approved at the next cabinet meeting, after the approval of the Minister of Defense and the backing of Israeli security forces. With the Cabinet's approval, the order to stop broadcasting, close the channel's offices and seize the equipment, will be signed by the Minister of Communications and will be implemented immediately.
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שלמה קרעי
שלמה קרעי
Communications minister Shlomo Karhi argues on the floor of the Knesset
(Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
According to the emergency regulations regarding the closure of Al Jazeera, if the Defense Minister is convinced that the broadcasts of a foreign channel broadcasting in Israel actually harm the security of the state, the Communications Minister, with the consent of the Defense Minister and with the approval of the Cabinet may order the interruption of the channel's transmission; the closing of its offices located in the territory of Israel; the seizure its equipment; and the closure or restriction of to its website, depending on the location of the server.
The instruction will not be given until after professional opinions from the security officials are presented to the ministers of Defense and Communications and to the cabinet, over whether there was actual harm to state security. The decision will be brought before the president of a district court or his deputy as soon as possible for discussion within three days of the request to approve it, cancel it or limit its validity period; The order will remain in effect until another decision is made by a court, according to the ministry.
The directive will be valid for 30 days with the possibility of extending it by an additional period of 30 days each time - with the approval of the cabinet. The emergency regulations will be in place for three months, or until the specific state of emergency is formally ended by the government. In the regulations, it was emphasized that the provision concerns only foreign broadcasts and not the broadcasts of Israel channels.
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