Israel blocks pro-Iranian Al Mayadeen TV websites
In a move to safeguard national security, Israel has blocked the websites of the Beirut-based pro-Iranian TV channel, Al-Mayadeen.
This picture taken on November 13, 2023 from a position along the border with the Gaza Strip in southern Israel shows a smoke plume erupting during Israeli bombardment on the Palestinian enclave amid ongoing battles. (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP)
A Beirut-based, pro-Iranian TV channel’s websites have been blocked in Israel over “security” concerns, an official said Monday, as the war in Gaza raises worries of a regional conflict.
Israel’s communication minister Shlomo Karhi said the security cabinet had approved emergency measures to prevent Al-Mayadeen from harming the state’s security.
“Immediately upon the cabinet approval this morning, I signed the first order to block the internet sites of Al-Mayadeen in Israel,” Karhi wrote on his Facebook page.
“The broadcasts and reporters of Al-Mayadeen serve the despicable terror organisations,” Karhi said.
There was no immediate comment from Mayadeen in Lebanon, but the outlet’s Israeli correspondent told AFP she “will abide by the law”.
The Israeli minister also said he requested the army’s chief of central command to apply the same measure in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian production company working with Mayadeen in the occupied West Bank announced they had cut ties with the Lebanese channel.
A spokesman for Karhi told AFP that Mayadeen television could not be blocked since it was broadcast via satellite, but that officials intended to prohibit Mayadeen reporters from working in Israel.
In a Monday statement, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Mayadeen has “turned into a mouthpiece of Hezbollah”.
He accused the Lebanese network’s journalists of “supporting terror while pretending to be reporters”.
Last month, Karhi’s office presented the security cabinet with a plan to close the Israeli operation of Al Jazeera in light of “evidence” the Qatari channel was broadcasting content “that harm national security”.
No measures have since been taken against Al Jazeera.
Qatar has been key in attempts to mediate a deal that would see the release of the nearly 240 hostages taken by Hamas militants during their October 7 attack on Israel, which killed around 1 200 people, mainly civilians, according to Israeli authorities.
Israel’s ensuing bombing campaign and ground invasion in Gaza has killed over 11 100 people, most of them civilians, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.
Near-daily exchanges of fire between Israel and militants in southern Lebanon, predominantly Hezbollah, have killed at least six Israeli soldiers and two civilians, according to the army.
Among the dead in Lebanon are at least 70 Hezbollah fighters and 11 civilians, according to an AFP count.
– By: © Agence France-Presse