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Israel seizes and refunds AP equipment
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Israel confiscated and returned camera equipment from the Associated Press (AP) on Tuesday (21), alleging that the agency violated the law by broadcasting live to Al Jazeera. The action took place in the city of Sderot, close to the Gaza Strip, and was justified for reasons of national security.

Context


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Explosion in the Gaza Strip (Photo: reproduction/ Said Khatib/ Getty Images embed)

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In April, the Israeli government approved legislation authorizing the temporary interruption of the operations of foreign broadcasters for national security reasons. The following month, Al Jazeera broadcaster suspended its operations in the country due to similar security concerns.

In a related incident, an Associated Press (AP) camera was seized for transmitting live footage from the northern Gaza Strip, where it showed Israel Defense Forces (IDF) activities. The AP had previously been warned about the ban on providing material to Al Jazeera, but continued the practice, resulting in the seizure of the equipment.

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Repercussion

The White House, through press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, expressed concern about the incident, emphasizing the right of journalists to do their jobs. The Associated Press (AP) condemned the action, noting that it follows military censorship rules to avoid broadcasting information that could compromise the safety of troops, noting that the live broadcast often only showed smoke over Gaza. Al Jazeera, a Qatari communications network, criticized the measure, calling the allegations of a threat to Israeli security a “dangerous and ridiculous lie.”

Official Statements

The Israeli Ministry of Communications justified the seizure by saying that the AP's live broadcast to Al Jazeera put Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fighters at risk. On the other hand, the AP requested the return of the equipment and the resumption of live broadcasting, criticizing what it considered an abusive use of the new law by the Israeli government.

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Israel seizes and refunds AP equipment

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