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07 August 2017, 01:32 | Damon Campbell
ERIC GAILLARD REUTERS
Israel plans to follow the lead of several Arab countries by banning broadcaster Al-Jazeera
Al-Jazeera said it "deplores" Israel's decision to close the broadcaster's offices in the Jewish state and will pursue the matter through legal channels, an official at the Doha-based news channel said today.
Al Jazeera's signal has also been blocked in the United Arab Emirates.
Israel plans to revoke press credentials of Al Jazeera journalists, close their Yerushalayim bureau and pull the Qatar-based station's broadcasts from local cable and satellite providers, Communications Minister Ayoub Kara said on Sunday.
Communications Minister Ayoub Kara alleged that the channel supported terrorism, and said both its Arabic and English-language channels would be taken off air.
"And when we see that all these countries have determined as fact that Al-Jazeera is a tool of the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, and we are the only one who have not determined that, then something delusional is happening here", he said.
"Al Jazeera stresses that it will closely watch the developments that may result from the Israeli decision, and will take the necessary legal measures towards it", it said in a statement.
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been threatening to shut Al-Jazeera's operations in the country, accusing the network of inciting violence against Israel.
Al Jazeera's Jerusalem Bureau Chief Walid Omary told Anadolu Agency that no official notification has been received from Israeli part so far.
All three countries and Bahrain have enforced a blockade on Qatar and issued a list of demands including the closure of Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera correspondent reported that Israel is also seeking to shut down Al Jazeera's cable and satellite transmissions in the country.
In July, Netanyahu announced that he was working to shut down the network which he accuses of stoking tensions and inciting violence in Israel, particularly at the al-Aqsa mosque where six Palestinians and five Israelis, including two police officers, have been killed in recent clashes. The Al-Jazeera official said yesterday he was "surprised" at Israel's justification, and defended the channel's coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calling it "professional and objective".
"Al Jazeera will continue to cover the events of the occupied Palestinian territories professionally and accurately, according to the standards set by global agencies, such as the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom)".
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