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Israel mulls banning Qatar’s Al Jazeera news channel

ISRAEL MULLS BANNING QATAR’S AL JAZEERA NEWS CHANNEL

The Israeli government has met to discuss proposals to ban Qatar's influential Al Jazeera news network, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.

The satellite channel is already facing bans in the Arab world after several Arab States, including heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Egypt, abruptly severed relations with Doha last week.

Countries to have cut ties with Qatar accuse the tiny Gulf state of supporting and financing terrorism and meddling -- via Al Jazeera -- in their internal affairs.

Israel, for its part, has long accused Al Jazeera of bias against it.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly met with officials from various state agencies, including domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet, to discuss proposals for banning transmission of the channel inside Israel.

According to Yedioth Ahronoth, however, Israel could face difficulties banning the channel -- one of the most popular in the Middle East -- because most of its Israel-based employees are Arab citizens of Israel and would likely appeal the move at the country's supreme court.

Also on Monday, hardline Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized the channel in the Knesset (Israel's parliament), describing its coverage of Israel and Palestine as "pure propaganda".

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