Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said that he wants to expel Qatari news agency Al-Jazeera from Jerusalem, reported AFP. “The Al-Jazeera channel continues to incite violence around the Temple Mount,” Netanyahu wrote in a Facebook post. “I have appealed to law enforcement agencies several times to close the Al-Jazeera office in Jerusalem. If this is not possible because of legal interpretation, I am going to seek to have the necessary legislation adopted to expel Al-Jazeera from Israel.”
However, a spokesperson for Netanyahu did not respond to requests for a comment on the prime minister’s statement. Israel has in the past accused Al-Jazeera of bias in its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The prime minister’s comments come two days after Israel decided to remove the metal detectors placed at the entrance to the compound surrounding the Temple Mount or al-Aqsa mosque. The decision was made by the Israeli Cabinet after a massive crisis over new security measures that had been implemented at the holy site.
Seven people have died after violence over the security measures. The metal detectors, along with security cameras, had been installed by Israel after two of their police officers had been shot dead inside the compound on July 14.
The compound is considered the third holiest site in Islam, and the most sacred for the Jewish. The crisis that had begun because of the security measures was considered by some to be the bloodiest in the city in years. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had ordered all official contact with Israel be suspended until it removed the metal detectors from the site.