Hamas-linked Al Quds TV, which operates out of Lebanon, has been officially declared a terrorist organization by the Israeli government.
The office of the defense minister said in a statement: “According to reliable, current, reliable and cross-border intelligence, the Al-Quds channel is a propaganda arm of Hamas and constitutes a central platform for disseminating the messages of the terrorist organization in its broadcasts.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman signed the order Monday upon the recommendation of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the ministry’s National Counterterrorism Bureau.
Israel-based reporters and photographers from the channel were questioned by police on Monday, along with employees from a local production company that works with Al Quds TV. All were ordered to immediately cease operations, according to the Hebrew-language Haaretz daily.
Arab Israeli lawmakers slammed the decision, calling it a “strong betrayal” of freedom of expression. Joint Arab List MK Ahmad Tibi said at the Knesset that the defense minister “likely wants the media to glorify the occupation and not expose its misdeeds.”