Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson Avichay Adraee / X
Muhammad Samir Wishah, an Al Jazeera journalist, when he is not working as a Hamas military commander in Gaza.

The Israeli Parliament has finally passed a bill that grants senior ministers the power to ban foreign news networks deemed a security risk, such as the Qatar-owned Al Jazeera and the Hezbollah-linked Lebanese Al Mayadeen networks.

The law, which passed in a vote of 70 to 10, gives Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi the authority to order the closure of foreign networks operating in Israel and to seize their equipment if they pose harm to the security of the state.


Netanyahu praised the Knesset’s passage of the law and promised to “act immediately” to shut down Al Jazeera‘s operations in Israel in a statement posted on the X social media network.

Al Jazeera has harmed Israel’s security, actively participated in the October 7 massacre, and incited against IDF soldiers,” Netanyahu wrote. “It is time to remove the shofar of Hamas from our country.

“The terrorist channel Al Jazeera will no longer broadcast from Israel. I intend to act immediately in accordance with the new law to stop the channel’s activity.

“I welcome the law promoted by Communications Minister Shlomo Karai with the support of coalition members led by coalition chairman Ofir Katz.”

Read: Al Jazeera Hamas ‘Journalist’ Wounded in Action; Plus a List of Others

Al Jazeera, based in Doha, is the mouthpiece of the government of Qatar. But the network has also for years aided and abetted the efforts of Palestinian Authority terrorists, in particular those of Hamas, whose international leaders are living a protected life of unparalleled luxury in the Qatari capital.

In addition to publishing outright lies about Israeli government decisions and the actions of the Israel Defense Forces — such as the claim that IDF soldiers were raping Arab women during operations in Gaza — several of the network’s journalists have been exposed as actual Hamas terrorists.

Israeli lawmakers and government officials have for years expressed the desire to shut down Al Jazeera, but there were a number of reasons that prevented the move.

First of all, Qatar is a close ally of the United States, home to the US CENTCOM (Central Command’s) Forward Headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Center. The Doha government has also contributed more than $8 billion since 2003 in developing the Al-Udeid Air Base, used by US forces. The base was built in 1996 at a cost of more than a billion dollars. This past January, the US quietly signed a deal to extend its military presence at the base for another decade.

Qatar has also been deeply involved, together with the United States and Egypt, in brokering ceasefire and hostage release talks between Israel and Hamas, which initially led to a temporary “hudna” (pause) and the release of around 100 of the 253 hostages kidnapped by the terrorist organization during its October 7 massacre of more than a thousand people in southern Israel, launching a war against the Jewish State that continues to the present.

But just as Hamas violated a ceasefire that was in place when it launched its war against Israel on Shabbat Simchat Torah (Oct. 7), Hamas also violated the ceasefire that was in place in November, and has refused every offer made since.

Fears of angering Qatar have since been superseded by the revelation that Al Jazeera journalists were Hamas terrorists and directly involved in the October 7 massacre, along with the knowledge that Qatar — which had the power to pressure Hamas into reaching a deal to free the hostages — has chosen instead not to do so.


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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.