US ‘quite concerned’ by Israel’s action on Al Jazeera


The statement from the US came in response to a media query on Israel’s closure of Al Jazeera….reports Asian Lite News

Expressing ‘concern’ over the closure of Al Jazeera operations in Israel recently, the United States has said that the action is quite concerning, and added that Washington supports media freedom all around the world.

“We have seen the announcement from government of Israel about closing Al Jazeera. We have been quite clear, that we support media freedom all around the world, including in Israel, and we are quite concerned about this action,” spokesperson Matthew Miller said during the State Department press briefing on Monday (local time).

The statement from the US came in response to a media query on Israel’s closure of Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera was pulled off air in Israel on Sunday, with police seizing the news network’s broadcasting equipment from its Jerusalem offices the same day. The move comes after the Israeli government approved a decision recently to temporarily shut down the outlet on the grounds that it has harmed national security in numerous ways.

Further, when asked if the US is asking Israel to do anything on the issue regarding the news network’s closure, Miller stated that the nation will continue to press for “free and independent media” around the world.

“As the President (Joe Biden) said on May 3, journalists and media workers are an essential part of any democracy because well-informed dissent is critical to building stronger and more successful societies and we will continue to support and advocate for free and independent media around the world. We think Al Jazeera ought to be able to operate in Israel, as it does in other countries in the region,” Miller said.

On May 5, the Israeli government voted unanimously to close the Qatari news outlet Al Jazeera’s operations in Israel, nearly six months after first announcing its intentions to do so due to security concerns related to the Israel-Hamas war.

Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi signed an executive order immediately after the vote passed, and it thus came into effect right away.

In a video statement, Karhi had called Al Jazeera a “Hamas incitement organ.”

Meanwhile, on recent reports of Hamas accepting a ceasefire proposal by Egypt and Qatar, the State Department spokesperson noted that it cannot be confirmed, adding that the US is reviewing the response now.

He said, “I can’t confirm that Hamas has issued a response. we are reviewing that response now, and discussing it with our partners in the region.”

“We continue to believe that a hostage deal is in the best interest of the Israeli people and also in the best interest of the Palestinian people. It would bring an immediate ceasefire; it would allow increased movement of humanitarian assistance, so we are going to continue to work to reach one,” he added.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has sent word of the group’s acceptance of a ceasefire proposal to Qatari and Egyptian mediators, Al Jazeera reported on Monday.

Thousands of people flee eastern Rafah after Israel ordered people to evacuate as fears of a full-blown military assault on the city sheltering more than one million displaced people grow.

The details of the ceasefire deal have not been disclosed.

This comes as Israel’s military issued an urgent evacuation notice to residents of eastern Rafah, following a warning from the country’s defence minister of impending “intense action” in the area.

The conflict in Gaza escalated after the October 7 attack by Hamas, where about 2,500 terrorists breached the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip, leading to casualties and the seizure of hostages.

Israel has since, characterised its Gaza offensive as targeting Hamas’ infrastructure with the goal of eliminating the entire terror group while making efforts to minimize civilian casualties. (ANI)

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