‘Fascist Behavior’ – Hamas Slams Israel’s Confiscation of AP Equipment

Citing the new media law, Israeli forces seized AP equipment. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Hamas described the action as “fascist behavior” which “reflects the false claims of the entity respecting human rights values and freedom of journalistic work.

The Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas has accused Israel of attempting to conceal its crimes against the Palestinian people by shutting down a live feed of the Associated Press (AP) news agency showing a general view of Gaza.

According to an AP report, Israeli officials on Tuesday “seized the AP equipment positioned in southern Israel after accusing it of violating a new media law by providing images to the satellite channel Al Jazeera.”

“The confiscation of the broadcasting equipment of the Associated Press by the zionist occupation authorities today is an arbitrary and oppressive act repeatedly taken against the freedom of journalistic work,” Hamas said in a statement. “Through this, the entity aims to conceal its crimes and violations against our Palestinian people from the global public opinion.”

The movement described the action as “fascist behavior” which “reflects the false claims of the entity respecting human rights values and freedom of journalistic work, marking it as one of the worst repressive regimes around the world.”

‘Threat to National Security’

Israeli officials shut down Al-Jazeera’s operations in Israel earlier this month, under the new law which allowed the closure of foreign broadcasting stations “that pose a threat to national security” during times of war.

Al-Jazeera’s equipment was confiscated, websites blocked and its broadcasts banned, AP reported.

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Hamas said Israel’s restriction on the work of AP, preceded by the closure of Al Jazeera’s office, “the deliberate targeting of Palestinian journalists in Gaza and the West Bank, and the prevention of international journalists from entering Gaza to witness the crimes committed by the criminal occupation army, calls for wide international condemnation.”

“It requires active action from global journalistic bodies to pressure this rogue entity to stop its restriction and targeting of journalists, journalistic offices, and journalistic work in general,” said the movement.

Late on Tuesday, Israel’s communications minister, Shlomo Karhi, said on X: “I have now ordered to cancel the action and return the equipment to the AP.”

According to the AP, “Officials from the Communications Ministry arrived at the AP location in the southern town of Sderot on Tuesday afternoon and seized the equipment. They handed the AP a piece of paper, signed by Karhi, alleging it was violating the country’s foreign broadcaster law.”

Shortly before that, the news agency said it was broadcasting “a general view of northern Gaza.”

“The AP complies with Israel’s military censorship rules, which prohibit broadcasts of details like troop movements that could endanger soldiers. The live video has generally shown smoke rising over the territory,” the report said.

‘Act of Madness’

Israel’s opposition leader Yair Lapid said on X that the action against AP was “an act of madness.”

“This government behaves as if it has decided to make sure at all costs that Israel will be swayed all over the world. They went crazy,” Lapid said, according to a Google translation.

Karhi said in response: “To remind you, the law and the orders signed unanimously by the government, with the overwhelming support of all the security forces, state that devices used to deliver Aljazeera content must be seized from any person or corporation.” He said AP was “warned in advance” last week and “refused to stop providing service to this terrorist channel.”

The AP report said, “Al Jazeera is one of thousands of AP customers, and it receives live video from AP and other news organizations.”

Staggering Death Toll

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 35,647 Palestinians have been killed, and 79,852 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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