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Al Jazeera gains from Israel’s attempts to close it

7 9 12

Despite Israel’s public statements about closing down Al Jazeera’s offices in Jerusalem, it appears that the execution of such a decision will require a great deal of legal work on the part of the Israeli government. The decision, if implemented, will do little to reduce the coverage by the most-watched Arab satellite TV station.

The move seems particularly odd since it would not be favorable to Israeli officials, who used to provide some kind of balance to Al Jazeera’s stories, which allowed them to speak unfiltered in its reports.

In addition to its Jerusalem office, Al Jazeera has a large office in Ramallah and a major bureau in the Gaza Strip. Both of these Palestine-located offices will not be directly affected by the Israeli decision should it be approved.

While most Israelis receive Al Jazeera as part of their cable TV channels, the situation for Palestinians is different. Palestinians watch Al Jazeera through satellite dishes that are completely unregulated and unrestricted.

The Israeli decision regarding Al Jazeera has been clearly a political one that has little to do with so-called incitement.

Israel had welcomed Al Jazeera since its launch in 1996 and has benefited from its presence by providing its millions of viewers with various Israeli spokespersons as well as senior politicians. Banning the media network and revoking the press credentials of its journalists will........

© Al Monitor