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Israeli officials take down AP live shot of Gaza, citing new media law

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli officials seized a camera and broadcast equipment belonging to The Associated Press in southern Israel on Tuesday, accusing the news agency of violating a new media law by providing images to Al Jazeera.

The Qatari satellite channel is among thousands of customers who receive live video feeds from the AP and other news organizations. The AP denounced this decision.

“The Associated Press denounces in the strongest possible terms the Israeli government’s actions to cut off our long-running live broadcast showing a view of Gaza and seize AP equipment,” said Lauren Easton, vice president of corporate communications of the news agency. “The shutdown was not based on the content of the stream but rather the Israeli government’s misuse of the country’s new law on foreign broadcasters. We urge the Israeli authorities to return our equipment and allow us to immediately restore our live broadcast so that we can continue to provide this important visual journalism to thousands of media outlets around the world.

Communications Ministry officials arrived at the AP site in the southern town of Sderot on Tuesday afternoon and seized the equipment. They handed the AP a piece of paper, signed by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, alleging that it violated the country’s law on foreign broadcasters.

Shortly before the material was seized, he broadcast a general view of northern Gaza. The AP complies with Israeli military censorship rules, which prohibit the broadcast of details such as troop movements that could put soldiers in danger. Live shooting usually shows smoke rising over the territory.

The seizure followed a verbal order on Thursday to cease live transmission – something the news agency refused to do.

“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 coercive measures to limit broadcasts that harm state security,” the ministry said in a statement.

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

Israel has long had a difficult relationship with Al Jazeera, accusing it of bias against the country. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “terrorist channel” that spreads incitement.

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

The war in Gaza began with a Hamas attack in Israel that killed 1,200 people and took 250 others hostage. More than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed since then, according to Gaza’s health ministry, which does not distinguish between civilians and combatants in its count.


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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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