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Israel's Shutdown Of AP Live Feed 'Act Of Madness': Opposition Leader

21.05.2024 20:12

AP decries Israel’s seizure of its broadcasting equipment as ‘abusive use’ of country’s new foreign broadcaster law.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid on Tuesday condemned the shutdown of the Associated Press live feed showing a view into the Gaza Strip as an "act of madness."

Officials from the Israeli Communications Ministry seized a camera and broadcasting equipment from the AP office in Sderot in southern Israel. They accused the news agency of violating Israel's foreign broadcaster law for providing images to the Doha-based Al Jazeera television.

"The confiscation of the equipment of AP, the largest news agency in the world, by [Communications Minister] Shlomo Karhi's men, is an act of madness," Lapid wrote on X.

"This is not Al Jazeera, this is an American media outlet that has won 53 Pulitzer Prizes," he added.

"This government behaves as if it has decided to make sure, at any cost, that Israel will be ostracized all over the world," Lapid said.

The AP early Tuesday decried Israel's seizure of its broadcasting equipment as an "abusive use" of the country's new foreign broadcaster law amid an onslaught launched by Tel Aviv on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Last month, the Knesset (Israel's parliament) passed a law that allows the closure of foreign networks operating in Israel and confiscates their equipment if the defense minister identifies that their broadcast poses "an actual harm to the state's security."

In the first application of the law, Israeli authorities raided the offices of Doha-based Al Jazeera television and confiscated its equipment.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the enclave.

More than 35,600 Palestinians have been killed, the vast majority of whom have been women and children, and nearly 79,900 others injured since last October following an attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered it to ensure that its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

*Writing by Mohammad Sio -

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