Israel officials seize journalists’ cameras citing new media law

Israeli officials seized a camera and broadcasting equipment belonging to The Associated Press in southern Israel on Tuesday.

Officials accused the news organisation of violating the country’s new ban on Al Jazeera.

The Qatari satellite channel is among thousands of clients that receive live video feeds from the AP and other news organisations. The AP denounced the move.

“The Associated Press decries in the strongest terms the actions of the Israeli government to shut down our longstanding live feed showing a view into Gaza and seize AP equipment,” said Lauren Easton, vice president of corporate communications at the AP.

“The shutdown was not based on the content of the feed but rather an abusive use by the Israeli government of the country’s new foreign broadcaster law. We urge the Israeli authorities to return our equipment and enable us to reinstate our live feed immediately so we can continue to provide this important visual journalism to thousands of media outlets around the world,” she added.

Officials from the Communications Ministry arrived at the AP location in southern Israel on Tuesday afternoon and seized the equipment. They handed the AP a piece of paper, signed by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi, alleging it was violating the country’s new foreign broadcaster law.

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