Israeli minister calls for shutting Qatar’s Al Jazeera bureau for helping Hamas

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Israel's communications minister said on Sunday he was seeking a possible closure of Al Jazeera's local bureau, and accused the Qatari news station of pro-Hamas incitement and of exposing Israeli soldiers to potential attack from Gaza.

The proposal to shut down Al Jazeera had been vetted by Israeli security officials and was being vetted by legal experts, Shloma Karhi said, adding that he would bring it to the cabinet later in the day.

Al Jazeera and the government in Doha had no immediate comment.

“This is a station that incites, this is a station that films troops in assembly areas (outside Gaza) ... that incites against the citizens of Israel - a propaganda mouthpiece,” Karhi told Israel's Army Radio.

“It is unconscionable that Hamas spokespeople's message goes through this station,” he said, adding: “I hope we will finish with this today.” It was not clear if the latter statement referred to a cabinet discussion or implementation of a closure.

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