Netanyahu threatens to shut Al-Jazeera Jerusalem office 'for inciting violence'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accusing Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television news network of inciting recent violence in Jerusalem. (AFP / Pool / Jack Guez)
Updated 27 July 2017

Netanyahu threatens to shut Al-Jazeera Jerusalem office 'for inciting violence'

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said he would work to close the Jerusalem offices of Qatar-based Al-Jazeera, accusing the television news network of inciting recent violence in the city.
Jerusalem is experiencing one of its most tense periods in years as Palestinians protest heightened Israeli security measures near the Temple Mount-Noble Sanctuary compound, one of the city’s holiest sites, and the events have been widely reported, including by Al-Jazeera.
“The Al-Jazeera network continues to stir violence around the Temple Mount,” Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page in Hebrew.
The Qatar-based network was not immediately available for comment.
The spike in tensions and the deaths of three Israelis and four Palestinians in violence on Friday and Saturday raised international alarm.
“I have spoken several times to law-enforcement authorities demanding to close Al-Jazeera’s offices in Jerusalem. If this does not happen because of legal interpretation, I will work to enact the required legislation to expel Al-Jazeera from Israel,” the Israeli leader added in his post.
Al-Jazeera has also faced government censure in neighboring Egypt when in 2014, the Arab state jailed three Al-Jazeera staffers for seven years and closed the network’s offices. Two staffers have been released but a third remains imprisoned.


New board of directors appointed to run Lebanon’s ‘corrupt’ state power company

Updated 08 July 2020

New board of directors appointed to run Lebanon’s ‘corrupt’ state power company

  • Regulation of electricity sector a key condition of international bailout for collapsing economy

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s government finally appointed a new board of directors on Tuesday to control the state-owned electricity company.
Electricite du Liban (EDL) has long been mired in allegations of corruption and fraud. Its annual losses of up to $2 billion a year are the biggest single drain on state finances as Lebanon faces economic collapse and the plunging value of its currency.
Reform of the electricity sector has been a key demand of the International Monetary Fund and potential donor states before they will consider a financial bailout.
“Lebanon’s electricity policy has been inefficient and ineffective for decades — always on the brink of collapse, but staying afloat with last minute patchwork solutions,” said Kareem Chehayeb of the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington, DC.
“The economic crisis has made fuel imports more expensive, causing a shortage, with external generator providers hiking their prices or seeking business in Syria. It is a wake-up call to decades of overspending and poor planning of a basic public service.”
The World Bank has described the electricity sector in Lebanon as “tainted with corruption and waste,” and the IMF said “canceling the subsidy to electricity is the most important potential saving in spending.”
Electricity rationing was applied for the first time to hospitals and the law courts, but Minister of Energy Raymond Ghajar said: “The first vessel loaded with diesel for power plants has arrived, and as of Wednesday the power supply will improve.”
Prime Minister Hassan Diab promised the Lebanese people on Tuesday that they would see the results of government efforts to resolve the country’s financial chaos “in the coming weeks.”
Addressing a Cabinet meeting, Diab said: “The glimmer of hope is growing.” However, the appointment of an  EDF board of directors was criticized by opposition politicians. Former prime minister Najib Mikati said the appointments meant “the crime of wrong prevailing over right … is being repeated.”