Israel Passes Regulations To Temporarily Close Foreign News Services During Emergencies

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The Israeli Knesset has passed regulations this week which would give the Israeli government the ability to temporarily bar foreign news services from operating in Israel.   Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi pushed for the regulations and accuses Al-Jazeera, which is funded by the Qatar government, of being pro-Hamas and that “it spreads narratives that demonize and delegitimize Israel, and justify terrorism.” Mr. Karhi also said, “Israel is at war on land, in the air, at sea, and on the public diplomacy front. We will not allow in any way broadcasts that harm the security of the state.”  The new regulations allow the communications and defense minister with cabinet approval to shut down foreign news services in Israel for up to 90 days during an emergency situation but is subject to review from a district court. The news outlet’s offices would be closed, equipment seized and have its website restricted or taken down.