Netanyahu brings bill to close Al Jazeera in Israel

The prime minister began moves again to close it in Israel, saying through a representative of his party that parliament would be convened at night to ratify the necessary law. Netanyahu will then “take immediate steps to close Al Jazeera in compliance with the process described in the law,” the Likud party’s announcement said. Following the throes of the Gaza war on October 7, Qatar has mediated the ceasefire talks, in which Israel has recovered some of the hostages captured by Hamas. Negotiations on a second proposed truce seem to lead, however, nowhere. In January, Netanyahu publicly called for more pressure on the Qatari in order for them to push Hamas in turn. Qatar hosts the organization’s political office and several high-ranking Hamas officials. Meanwhile, Israel’s views on Al Jazeera have become tougher. Israel’s Communications Minister accused the station on October 15 of incitement to Hamas as well as of exposing Israeli troops to ambushes. Al Jazeera and the Doha government did not respond to those allegations. The following month, however, Israel seemed to adopt a less harsh attitude towards the Catalan station, ordering instead to stop local broadcasts of a smaller Lebanese pro-Iranian channel, Al Mayadeen, under the emergency regulations for the media.