Photo Credit: Gil Yaari / Flash 90
Smoke rises from buildings demolished by Israeli Air Force airstrikes and artillery in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on October 26, 2023.

Israel has walked back its decision to confiscate broadcast equipment from the Associated Press a week after issuing a warning the news agency was violating a foreign media law by providing images and live feed showing events in northern Gaza to the Al Jazeera satellite channel which is banned in Israel.

Israel Seizes Associated Press Equipment for Violation of Al Jazeera Ban


The camera and broadcast equipment with which Associated Press was broadcasting its live feed of northern Gaza, from a position in the southern Israeli border city of Sderot, was to returned, Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi announced late Tuesday night.

The live video feed was back up by early Wednesday, Associated Press said.

The move came in response to pressure by the United States, including the Pentagon’s rare condemnation of the confiscation. “We obviously support a free and independent press being able to do its job to tell the world the news about what’s happening,” Pentagon spokesperson Air Force Major General Pat Ryder told reporters Tuesday at a briefing. “From a DoD standpoint, we’ve been very clear on our support for a free and independent press.”

“Since the Defense Ministry wishes to examine the matter of the broadcasts from these locations in Sderot regarding the risk to our forces, I have now ordered a cancellation of the operation and return the equipment to AP, until a different decision is made by the Defense Ministry,” Karhi said.

“While we are pleased with this development, we remain concerned about the Israeli government’s use of the foreign broadcaster law and the ability of independent journalists to operate freely in Israel,” Lauren Easton, AP’s vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement.

Associated Press claimed Wednesday that the news agency complies with Israel’s military censorship rules and that its live feed showed nothing more than a general view of northern Gaza.

Israeli military forces are currently engaged in intense fighting with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists in the northern Gaza town of Jabalya.

Qatar-owned Al Jazeera was shut down by Israel on May 5 for multiple reasons, including having employed Hamas terrorists as “reporters” and repeatedly exposing Israeli military positions in its coverage, endangering IDF personnel.

The equipment used by Al Jazeera was seized, including its transmitter, its websites were blocked and its broadcasts were banned due to its repeated violations of Israeli media law.

Share this article on WhatsApp:

Previous articleLetters To The Editor – May 24, 2024
Next articleBiden Dooms Another Generation of Palestinians
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.