Israel seizes AP equipment over alleged media law violation, outlet condemns move

Israel alleged that the AP violated a media law recently put in place by providing images to Al Jazeera, which is a news outlet that is partially funded by the Qatari government. 

Published: May 21, 2024 11:40am

Updated: May 21, 2024 12:14pm

Israel on Tuesday seized equipment belonging to the Associated Press, alleging the outlet violated the media's country law. 

The Associated Press denounced the move.

“The Associated Press decries in the strongest terms the actions of the Israeli government to shut down our longstanding live feed showing a view into Gaza and seize AP equipment,” Lauren Easton, vice president of corporate communications at the AP said in a statement.

“The shutdown was not based on the content of the feed but rather an abusive use by the Israeli government of the country’s new foreign broadcaster law," she continued. "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.”

Israel alleged that the AP violated a recent media law by providing images to Al Jazeera, which is partially funded by the Qatari government. Al Jazeera was recently banned from reporting live from Israel, over allegations it was acting as a mouthpiece for Hamas, according to the BBC. 

According to the AP, outlet personnel received a piece of paper signed by Israel's communications minister, Shlomo Karhi, alleging they violated the country's foreign broadcaster law.  The outlet indicated it was broadcasting footage of northern Gaza prior to the exchange.

“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, according to CNN. “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.”

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