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Al Jazeera Closure

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet yesterday voted unanimously to close local operations of Qatari-owned Al Jazeera, describing it as a mouthpiece for Hamas. The ban can be extended in 45-day increments and is expected to be challenged in Israeli courts. It marks the first time Israel has shuttered a foreign news outlet.

The government of Qatar established Al Jazeera in 1996 (see history). For years, Israeli officials have accused the network of bias and incitement, while Qatar—which hosts several Hamas leaders—remains one of Hamas' biggest financial supporters. Al Jazeera has meanwhile accused Israel of killing and targeting its journalists, including prominent Palestinian American reporter Shireen Abu Akleh. Following yesterday's announcement, Israeli officers raided Al Jazeera offices in East Jerusalem while the outlet was taken off air.

Separately, Hamas' delegation left Egypt—where cease-fire talks appeared to stall— and claimed responsibility for a series of rockets targeting the Israel-Gaza crossing Kerem Shalom. See war updates here.

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