Doha-based network denounces the decision to revoke credentials of its journalists and close its offices in Jerusalem.
Below is Al Jazeera’s statement in full responding to Israel’s bid to silence the network:
“Ayoub Kara, the Israeli communications minister, announced the decision of his government to close Al Jazeera Media Network’s bureau in Jerusalem, revoke media credentials of Al Jazeera journalists, and to shut down Al Jazeera’s cable and satellite transmissions.
During the press conference held on Sunday, Kara accused the network of inciting violence and presenting unprofessional journalism.
He then requested from the relevant authorities to act upon this decision and carry out the necessary measures to put it into effect but did not set a date for implementing the decision.
Al Jazeera Media Network denounces this decision, which comes in the context of a campaign that was initiated by a statement made earlier by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he accused Al Jazeera of inciting violence during its coverage of the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Other Israeli ministers and officials had previously made similar statements following a break into Al Jazeera bureau by a number of settlers.
Al Jazeera denounces this decision made by a state that claims to be “the only democratic state in the Middle East”.
It also finds the justifications made by the minister of communications as odd and biased as they are in unison with the actions carried out by a number of Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, and Jordan) that have closed the network’s bureaus, shut down its cable and satellite transmissions, and blocked its websites and applications.
During the press conference, the minister could not substantiate his comments by referring to a single news bulletin or situation that proved Al Jazeera had not been professional nor objective during its coverage in Jerusalem.
Al Jazeera stresses that it will watch closely the developments that may result from the Israeli decision, and will take the necessary legal measures towards it.
The network also reiterates that it will continue covering news and events in the occupied Palestinian territories in a professional and objective manner in accordance with the common journalistic standards set by the relevant international organisations, such as the British Broadcasting Code of Ofcom.”