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Israel’s new media-closure law concerns EU
Benjamin Netanyahu (Pic: Shutterstock)

03 Apr 2024 / global news Print

Israel’s new media-closure law concerns EU

The EU has expressed concern about newly adopted legislation that gives temporary powers to the Israeli Government to prevent some foreign media networks from operating in the country.

Israel’s parliament approved the bill on Monday, after which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he would "act immediately" to close the local office of Qatari-owned network Al Jazeera.

The ban, which applies to networks that Israel considers a threat to national security, will be in place for a period of 45 days at a time, and can be renewed.

‘Press freedom essential’

A statement from the EU’s diplomatic service said that press freedom had to be guaranteed everywhere – including in war contexts.

It described the work of journalists and media workers in such situations as “essential in providing the public with accurate and timely information”.

“Too many journalists have lost their lives and hundreds have been injured since the beginning of the Gaza conflict on 7 October. We firmly condemn journalists’ killings and recall the need to ensure their access, safety, and protection at all times,” the EU added.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland