update deskIsrael at War

Israel considers closing Hezbollah-affiliated ‘Al Mayadeen’ news channel

The security forces support stopping the Lebanese news channel's operations inside Israel during the war.

Hezbollah flags during a funeral salute. Credit: Crop Media/Shutterstock.
Hezbollah flags during a funeral salute. Credit: Crop Media/Shutterstock.

The Israeli government is considering shutting down the activities of the Hezbollah-affiliated, Beirut-based Al Mayadeen TV news channel in the country, according to Hebrew media reports.

On Monday, the government approved emergency regulations allowing foreign channels hostile to the Jewish state, such as Al Jazeera and Al Mayadeen, to be prevented from operating in Israel during the war.

Communications Minister Shlomo Karai is expected to ask Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to note the decision to close Al Mayadeen at the next Political-Security Cabinet meeting, according to Kan News, which also reported that the security forces support closing Al Mayadeen.

In order to do so, approval must be given by the Political-Security Cabinet and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Like the Qatari regime’s Al Jazeera, the Lebanese Al Mayadeen has been accused of serving as a propaganda channel for the Hamas terrorist group following its Oct. 7 mass slaughter of Israeli civilians.

The channel employs an Arab-Israeli reporter by the name of Hana Mahamid, who uses the Hamas terror group’s name for the current war of “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,” according to a report in Makor Rishon.

According to the report, Al Mayadeen broadcasts photos of Israeli soldiers in a way that allows Hamas terrorists to identify their locations. It also repeats propaganda Hamas pushes saying residents of northern Gaza should not evacuate to the safety zone in the south of the Strip, so they can be used as human shields.

‘How one-sided the coverage is’

Al Mayadeen is not an official body of Hezbollah, but it is very close to the organization. It represents its interests in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and covers it in a particularly sympathetic manner,” Mor Shapira, a lecturer in the Arabic department at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan and a researcher at the Mamari Institute for the Study of Arab Media in the Middle East, told Mikor Rishon.

“You don’t need to understand Arabic to understand how one-sided the coverage on the channel is,” she said. “At this time, for example, they are focusing on the Holocaust and trying to claim that what happened on Oct. 7 is nothing compared to the suffering of the Palestinians in this war.”

On Monday, Mahamid was confronted by Channel 12‘s Haim Etgar, who accused her and the channel of broadcasting the propaganda of Hamas.

In a report published on Wednesday, HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog, identified six freelance photographers from the Gaza Strip who were present during the Oct. 7 attacks, and whose work the Associated Press and Reuters are selling to other publications. 

The National Public Diplomacy Directorate in the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement on Thursday saying it “views with utmost gravity that photojournalists working with international media joined in covering the brutal acts of murder perpetrated by Hamas terrorists on Saturday, October 7th, in the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip.”

The statement added: “These journalists were accomplices in crimes against humanity; their actions were contrary to professional ethics,” and demanded that action be taken against the photographers.

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