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Tel Aviv Court Upholds Israel’s Temporary Ban on Al Jazeera for “Close Connection” to Hamas


A district court in Tel Aviv on Wednesday retroactively upheld a 35-day broadcast ban in Israel for the Al Jazeera network.

The ruling by the court’s deputy president, Shai Yaniv, found that there is a “close connection” between the Qatar-based outlet and the Hamas terrorist organization, and that the relationship impacts the Jewish state’s security.

"Freedom of expression has a special importance during time of war. However, when there is significant harm to state security, the latter consideration comes first," he explained.

Yaniv announced that he had examined three reports by Israeli security agencies that suggested Al Jazeera employees had inappropriate contacts with Hamas officials, incited violence, reported on IDF deployment locations, and engaged in such questionable topics as a “briefing for how to damage an Israeli tank.”

The decision came after the security cabinet, in coordination with the prime minister’s office and the communications ministry, had originally requested a 45-day ban on May 5.

The timing of the affirmation now requires Jerusalem to request any extensions by June 8, something that Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi has indicated that he would do.

Related Story: Al Jazeera in Crosshairs of New Anti-Terror Media Law

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