Home News Israel seizes AP camera, says Al Jazeera used its images

Israel seizes AP camera, says Al Jazeera used its images


Israel’s Communications Ministry on Tuesday confiscated camera equipment from The Associated Press, claiming the agency violated new broadcasting laws by providing images of northern Gaza to Al Jazeera.

The seizure is an escalation in Israel’s efforts to punish Al Jazeera, a pan-Arab broadcaster that the Israeli government voted to shut down. Closed two weeks ago. It raises questions about the extent to which Israeli authorities will cut off the Qatar-funded channel, which has provided extensive coverage of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.

Lauren Easton, vice president of corporate communications for The Associated Press, condemned the Israeli government’s actions, calling it an “abuse” of a new law that gives authorities tools to crack down on foreign media organizations.

The Communications Ministry said in a statement that inspectors had gone to a site in southern Israel that the Associated Press used to broadcast live footage from the northern border with Gaza a few miles away. The ministry claimed Al Jazeera was transporting the feed illegally.

The Associated Press reported that Israeli authorities issued a verbal order last week to shut down the live broadcast, but did not comply.

As a renowned news agency, the Associated Press provides its content to subscribers around the world.

Ms Easton said Israeli authorities should return AP’s equipment so it can resume live broadcasts and “continue to provide this important visual journalism to thousands of media outlets around the world”.

In Israel, Al Jazeera’s Arabic coverage has often been criticized for amplifying Hamas’s views.

Al Jazeera said Israel’s decision to close operations in the country violated the “fundamental right to access information.”

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