July 21, 2024

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Israeli officials delete live footage from Gaza, citing new media law

Israeli officials delete live footage from Gaza, citing new media law

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli officials confiscated an Associated Press camera and broadcast equipment in southern Israel on Tuesday, accusing the news agency of violating a law. New media law By providing pictures to Al Jazeera.

The Qatari satellite channel is among thousands of customers who receive live video feeds from the Associated Press and other news organizations. The Associated Press denounced the move.

“The Associated Press condemns in the strongest terms the actions of the Israeli government in shutting down our long-standing live broadcast showing a view of Gaza and seizing AP equipment,” said Lauren Easton, the news organization’s vice president of corporate communications. “The shutdown was not based on the content of the broadcast, but rather on the Israeli government’s arbitrary use of the country’s new foreign broadcast law. We urge the Israeli authorities to return our equipment and enable us to return live broadcasts immediately so that we can continue to provide this important visual journalism to thousands of media outlets.” Media around the world.

Officials from the Ministry of Communications arrived at the AP site in the southern town of Sderot on Tuesday afternoon and confiscated the equipment. They handed the AP a piece of paper, signed by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, claiming it violated… Foreign broadcast law in the country.

Shortly before the equipment was seized, it was broadcasting a general view of the event North Gaza. The AP adheres to Israeli military censorship rules, which prohibit broadcasting details such as troop movements that could put soldiers in danger. The live footage generally showed smoke billowing over the area.

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The seizure followed a verbal order on Thursday to stop broadcasting live — which the news organization refused to do.

The ministry said in a statement: “In accordance with the government’s decision and the instructions of the Minister of Communications, the Ministry of Communications will continue to take all necessary executive measures to limit broadcasts that harm the security of the state.”

Israeli officials used the law to close the Qatar-based channel’s offices on May 5, as well as confiscate the channel’s equipment, ban its broadcast, and block its websites.

Israel has always had a tense relationship with Al Jazeera, accusing it of bias against the country. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as a “terrorist channel” spreading incitement.

Al Jazeera is one of the few international media outlets to remain in Gaza throughout the war, broadcasting scenes of airstrikes and crowded hospitals and accusing Israel of committing massacres.

The war in Gaza began with a Hamas attack in Israel that killed 1,200 people and took 250 hostage. More than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed since then, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants in its statistics.

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Follow AP’s war coverage on https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war