Israel revokes Al-Jazeera reporter’s press permit

Employees are seen at work in Al-Jazeera news network offices in Jerusalem on Aug. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean, file)
Updated 17 August 2017

Israel revokes Al-Jazeera reporter’s press permit

JERUSALEM: Israel’s press office said it was revoking the credentials of a prominent Al Jazeera reporter pending a hearing after he told another TV station that the work of Palestinian journalists is part of the “resistance.”
The Government Press Office said the remarks made by Elias Karram raise concerns about his ability to objectively cover the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Karram is an Arab citizen of Israel from Nazareth who has been reporting on Israel for Al-Jazeera for many years.
Nitzan Chen, the head of the press office, said the press card is revoked pending a hearing to clarify “whether or not he is part of the Palestinian people’s resistance to the Zionist occupation, as he stated in the interview, and if so, how this affects his work as a journalist according to universal ethics.”
Israel’s communications minister said earlier this month he plans to revoke the press credentials of all Al-Jazeera journalists, effectively preventing them from working in Israel, and is seeking legislation to ban them altogether.
He said the network incites violence, and pointed to recent efforts by several Arab states to ban the channel as part of their dispute with Qatar, the country that hosts and funds the pan-Arab satellite network.
The press office statement referred to a 2016 interview Karram gave to a Dar Al-Iman, a channel operated by Muslim Brotherhood.
“The work of a Palestinian journalist in occupied territories, in territories of conflict, is inseparable from the work of the resistance, the work of the politician, the work of the scholar,” Karram said.
“The journalist fulfils his role in the resistance with a pen or a microphone or a camera. You are part of the people and you resist in your own way,” he said.
Palestinians use the word resistance to refer to both violence against Israelis and non-violent opposition to Israeli policies.
Al-Jazeera had no immediate comment on the matter.
Karram could not immediately be reached for comment.
Chen said credentialed journalists are expected to follow “rules of ethics and universal fairness regarding news reporting.”
He said: “Whoever takes an active part in a political struggle should do so in the framework of the law, but without press credentials from the state of Israel.”
The Foreign Press Association, which represents journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories for international news organizations, said it is studying the decision and had no immediate comment.
American viewers became familiar with Al Jazeera after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when its logo became synonymous with video messages by Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
That sparked frequent complaints by then-President George W. Bush’s administration. The station defended its policy, saying the messages were newsworthy.


Iran says it has executed Iranian agent linked to CIA

Updated 14 July 2020

Iran says it has executed Iranian agent linked to CIA

  • An official said Reza Asgari had linked up with the CIA during his last years serving at the defense ministry

Iran has executed a former defense ministry worker who sold information to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Iranian judiciary said on Tuesday.
Reza Asgari had linked up with the CIA during his last years serving at the defense ministry and sold the agency information about Iran’s missile program, judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said, quoted by its Mizan website.
He retired from the ministry four years ago. Esmaili said Asgari was executed last week.
Separately, Esmaili said a death sentence for Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, an Iranian accused of spying for US and Israeli intelligence, is among those still to be carried out. Last year, Iran announced it had captured 17 spies it said were working for the CIA.