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Crackdown in Gaza: Israel Seizes AP Broadcast Equipment Amid Media Law Row

Daniel Kim Views  

AP·Yonhap News

The Israeli government has reportedly closed the facilities of the American Associated Press (AP) that was broadcasting live from the southern Gaza Strip. They seized their cameras and broadcasting equipment, but later returned them, according to AP on the 21st (local time).

AP reported that the Israeli Ministry of Communications had confiscated cameras and broadcasting equipment used by journalists at the AP‘s branch in Sderot, southern Israel, near the Gaza Strip. The action was taken because AP had shared images with Al Jazeera in Qatar, violating the new media law.

Previously, on the 5th, Israel had closed the Al Jazeera branch, banned broadcasts, blocked the website, and seized equipment under this law.

AP reported that the Biden administration, media organizations, and Israeli opposition leaders criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government over the seizure of AP equipment, and pressured them to cancel the action, leading Minister of Communications Shlomo Karhi to reverse the decision.

Karhi announced on X in the afternoon, “I have now ordered the cancellation of the action and the return of the equipment to AP.”

AFP·Yonhap News

However, Karhi informed that the Ministry of Defense is set to review the live video locations of media companies in the Gaza Strip. After the review, it is expected that he may order cameras to be relocated to places that do not pose a security threat.

AP reported that Israeli officials have not mentioned the location of AP’s live broadcast cameras so far, but have repeatedly pointed out that images are displayed live on Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera is one of AP’s thousands of clients, receiving live video from AP and other news agencies.

Lauren Easton, Deputy Director of AP, said, “While we are satisfied with this progress, we remain concerned about the Israeli government’s application of foreign broadcasting laws and whether independent journalists can operate freely in Israel.”

Earlier in the afternoon, an official from the Israeli Ministry of Communications arrived at the AP branch in Sderot and seized the equipment, handing over a document marked as a violation of the foreign broadcasting law, along with Minister Karhi’s signature. This appears to be in response to a refusal to comply with a verbal order to stop live broadcasting on the 16th.

In response to this, Yair Lapid, the leader of the first opposition party, Yesh Atid, called the Netanyahu government’s action “an act of madness,” while Karhi rebutted, “We can seize all devices used to transmit Al Jazeera content according to the law unanimously passed by the government.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

Comments2

300

Comments2

  • JOHN

    I FIND IT ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE THAT THE NATION OF ISRAEL - FORMED IN RESPONSE TO THE NEED OF A LOCATION FOR JEWISH PEOPLE AFTER WWII - IS PERPETRATING CRIMES TO THE POINT OF GENOCIDE WHEN THEY THEMSELVES WANT THE WORLD TO MOURN THE LOSS OF JEWS DURING WWII UNDER A SIMILAR GENOCIDE CAMPAIGN. DISGUST

  • Globo

    Netanyahu pretended his way is the only way to save the hostages. You can see his success every day and then you can deliberate what his real intentions are. Certainly not what he says.

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