Employees work inside the office of Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network in Jerusalem August 7, 2017. The Israeli cabinet voted on May 5, 2024, to suspend Al-Jazeera’s operations in Israel. (Photo: Reuters/Ammar Awad)

CPJ condemns Israeli vote to shut down Al Jazeera; warns of alarming precedent

Beirut, May 5, 2024 – The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Israeli cabinet’s decision to shut down Al Jazeera’s operations in Israel and warns that the vote could set a dangerous precedent for other international media outlets working in Israel.   

The cabinet vote on Sunday, announced by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on X, came after Israel’s parliament passed a law on April 1 allowing the shutdown of a foreign channel’s broadcasts in Israel if the content is deemed to be a threat to the country’s security during the ongoing war. The shutdown took immediate effect, according to Al Jazeera and multiple news reports. Al Jazeera is funded by Qatar, which is mediating between Hamas and Israel.

“CPJ condemns the closure of Al Jazeera’s office in Israel and the blocking of the channel’s websites,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna in New York. “This move sets an extremely alarming precedent for restricting international media outlets working in Israel. The Israeli cabinet must allow Al Jazeera and all international media outlets to operate freely in Israel, especially during wartime.” 

Al Jazeera journalists have faced multiple threats, including intimidation, obstruction, injuriesarrests, and killings, during the ongoing war. 

Read more CPJ coverage of the Israel-Gaza war

CPJ urges Netanyahu government not to shut down Al Jazeera