Photo Credit: IDF Arabic Spox Avichay Adraee / X
Al Jazeera's Hamas terrorist 'journalist' Ismail Abu Omar

Israeli authorities seized a camera and broadcasting equipment belonging to the Associated Press news agency on Tuesday after AP violated a new foreign news media law that facilitated a ban on the Qatar-owned Al Jazeera news network.

Associated Press was accused to endangering Israeli forces by providing a live video feed of Gaza to Al Jazeera, in violation of the ban on the virulently anti-Israel network. Al Jazeera has employed several Hamas terrorists among its reporters.


“Communications Ministry inspectors arrived today at the AP complex in Sderot and confiscated photographic equipment that provides service to the Al Jazeera channel,” Israel’s Communications Ministry said in a statement after the seizure.

“The confiscated camera broadcasts live on the Al Jazeera channel, contrary to the law, from the northern Gaza Strip, including the activities of the IDF forces, and endangers our fighters.”

The ministry added that AP had already received a warning last week regarding the ban. The news agency was notified at that time that “according to the law and the government’s decision, they are prohibited from providing broadcasts to Al Jazeera. However, they decided to continue broadcasting on the channel, causing real harm to the security of the state,” the statement added.

Associated Press claimed in response that Al Jazeera is one of its thousands of clients and said its live feed did not show sensitive military activities that could endanger soldiers.

Lauren Easton, AP vice president of corporate communications accused Israel of acting “not based on the content of the feed but rather an abusive use by the Israeli government of the country’s new foreign broadcaster law.” She urged Israeli authorities to return the equipment and allow the news agency to continue its live feed “so we can continue to provide this important visual journalism to thousands of media outlets around the world.”

The Biden White House also weighed in on the matter, saying the report was being investigated.

“Obviously, this is concerning. And so we want to look into it. But we’ve always been clear the importance of the work that you all do, the work that journalists do,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday while traveling on Air Force One with the president.

Israel’s Communications Ministry told AP on Tuesday that it would “continue to take whatever enforcement action is required to limit broadcasts that harm the security of the state.”

Al Jazeera’s news operations were shut down by Israel on May 5, with its credentials revoked, its transmitters seized and its websites blocked. The shutdown is subject to renewal every 45 days.

In February, a laptop belonging to Al Jazeera “reporter” Mohammad Washah was recovered in northern Gaza, exposing Washah as a Hamas terrorist commander who played a prominent role in the Hamas anti-armor missile system.

“It is clear from the documents that Mohammad Washah is a prominent commander in the anti-armor missile system in the Hamas military wing,” IDF Arabic language spokesperson Avichay Adraee wrote in a post on the X social media platform. “At the end of 2022, he moved to work in the field of research and development in the Hamas Air Force. The intelligence investigation conducted on the computer reveals images linking the person called Mohammad Washah to activities within Hamas.

“Who knows how many details we will reveal about the presence of other terrorists in journalistic garb in the near future!” Adraee added.

Indeed, Washah was not the only terrorist employed by Al Jazeera. Also in February, Adraee exposed Ismail Abu Omar as another fake reporter.

Al Jazeera Network reported yesterday that one of its correspondents was injured during a raid launched by the IDF in the southern Gaza Strip,” Adraee wrote in an Arabic-language post on the X social media platform. “The so-called Ismail Abu Omar, who Al Jazeera claimed was a journalist working for it, held the position of deputy commander of a company belonging to the eastern Khan Younis battalion with the Hamas terrorist organization. Abu Omar even filmed himself participating in the bloody massacre in Nir Oz on 7/10 (Oct. 7) and posted it on social media.”

The Qatari news agency has long been a source of concern for Israeli security, with government officials debating since the start of the war on October 7 whether or not to shut it down due to the security risks it posed to Israeli forces.

In March, Al Jazeera quietly removed a libelous fabricated story accusing Israeli soldiers of raping Arab women in Gaza during ongoing military operations, a day after the story went viral on social media. The story had spread like wildfire on social media in the Arab world and beyond.

“It was revealed through Hamas investigations that the story of the rape of women in Al-Shifa Hospital was fabricated,” Al Jazeera columnist and former director Yasser Abuhilalah tweeted. “The woman who spoke about rape justified her exaggeration and incorrect talk by saying that the goal was to arouse the nation’s fervor and brotherhood.”

At least 1,200 people were tortured, mutilated, burned and slaughtered, with thousands more wounded and 253 Israelis and foreigners abducted by thousands of Hamas-led terrorists who invaded southern Israel from Gaza on October 7, 2023. Although some 110 hostages were freed in a temporary ceasefire deal with Hamas last November, 128 remain captive in Gaza. Of those, at least 40 have been confirmed deceased, although analysts believe many more may no longer be among the living.

In addition to its open involvement with Hamas, Al Jazeera was accused of exposing the locations of Israeli forces as they were assembling, prompting the government cabinet to approve emergency regulations to temporarily shut down its operations in Israel.

Despite wide support from Israel’s security and diplomatic establishments, implementation of the decision was delayed, due to the prominent role played by Qatar in mediating hostage release talks between Israel and Hamas.

The “Prevent a Foreign Broadcasting Organization’s Harm to the State’s Security” bill, known as the “Al Jazeera Law,” was finally passed by the Knesset last month. The law gives the Minister of Communications the authority to order the closing of offices of a foreign media channel located in Israel and to order the restriction of access to the website of a foreign channel found to be likely to harm the security of the state.

Authorization of a ban, however, is subject to determination by the Minister of Defense, following consultations with security professionals, that the broadcasts of the foreign channel do indeed harm the security of the state.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.