Israel's decision to bar Al Jazeera sends 'wrong signal': Germany

# 06 May 2024 14:33 (UTC +04:00)

The German foreign ministry on Monday criticised Israel's decision to bar Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera and called for the protection of press freedom, APA reports citing Hürriyet.

"A free and diverse press landscape is an important cornerstone of any liberal democracy," the ministry wrote on X, formerly Twitter, adding that the move "sends the wrong signal".

Al Jazeera went off-air in Israel Sunday after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government decided to shut it down following a long-running feud, a move the Qatar-based channel decried as "criminal".

Netanyahu declared on X that the government had "unanimously decided: the incitement channel Al Jazeera will be closed in Israel".

The government said the order was initially valid for 45 days, with the possibility of an extension.

Hours later, screens carrying Al Jazeera's Arabic and English channels went blank, apart from a message in Hebrew saying they had "been suspended in Israel".

The shutdown does not apply to the Israeli-occupied West Bank or Gaza Strip, from which Al Jazeera still broadcasts live on Israel's war with Hamas.

Al Jazeera condemned Israel's decision as "criminal", charging on X that it "violates the human right to access information".

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