Israel shuts down live camera facing Gaza under its restrictive new law | CNN Business

Israel shuts down live camera facing Gaza under its restrictive new law | CNN Business

Leo Correa/AP

Smoke rises to the sky after explosion in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel Tuesday, May 21, 2024.



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The Associated Press on Tuesday said Israeli authorities had shut down its live camera feed showing Gaza and seized its equipment in what it decried as an “abusive use by the Israeli government of the country’s new foreign broadcasters law.”

“The Associated Press decries in the strongest terms the actions of the Israeli government,” the non-profit news collective said in a statement. “We urge the Israeli authorities to return our equipment and enable us to reinstate our live feed immediately so we can continue to provide this important visual journalism to thousands of media outlets around the world.”

The Israeli military regularly classifies areas around Gaza as “closed military zones,” restricting movement there. The AP’s live feed provided a view of actions in Gaza, where no independent journalists are able to operate because of Israeli and Egyptian restrictions on entry to the strip.

The Associated Press and Foreign Press Association did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.

The move comes weeks after Israel shut down Al Jazeera’s operations in the country, raiding the news outlet’s offices and seizing its communication equipment, prompting swift condemnation from the United Nations and rights groups over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s moves to restrict press freedoms.

In a statement, Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi accused the AP of violating its new law by providing a feed to its thousands of news clients, including Al Jazeera.

“The camera that was confiscated illegally broadcasts on the Aljazeera channel live the northern Gaza Strip, including the activities of the IDF forces and endangers our fighters,” Karhi said in a statement. “It should be noted that a warning was given to the AP agency already last week that according to the law and the government’s decision they are prohibited from providing broadcasts to Al Jazeera, however they decided to continue broadcasting on the channel causing a real harm to the security of the state.”

The confiscated equipment included a camera, tripod, two microphones and transmission equipment, the statement said.

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