The Government Press Office (GPO) invalidated the Israeli press credentials of a reporter for the Qatari news agency Al Jazeera Wednesday.
The reporter, Elias Karram, is an Israeli Arab citizen and a resident of Nazereth. Karram came under fire when he said in an interview with Arab media that "media work is an integral part of the resistance."
GPO Nitzan Chen said: "The whole issue of GPO cards is bound up with journalist's rules of ethics and universal fairness regarding news reporting. It would seem that an Al Jazeera correspondent, who serves as a senior field correspondent vis-à-vis news and security events, made the sharp and far-reaching comment that,'any Palestinian journalist should see himself as an integral part of the resistance to the occupation.' Whoever takes an active part in a political struggle can do so in the framework of the law, but without press credentials from the State of Israel."
Karram faces a hearing, during which he will be asked to explain whether he is part of the Arab 'resistance' against Israel, and how this affects his journalistic integrity.
Communications Minister Ayoub Kara (Likud) announced last week that, while his ministry would work to protect freedom of the press, it would not permit media outlets to threaten Israel’s security. He noted Al-Jazeera’s role in promoting incitement against Israel following the July 14 murderous terror attack on the Temple Mount which left two Israeli police officers dead, after being shot in the back by the terrorists.
"Freedom of expression is a supreme value and I will do everything to preserve objective journalism and the freedom of expression that is important to me," he said."But the events at the Temple Mount have led me to think about how to ensure the security of Israeli citizens and that is the most important thing."
"We have identified media outlets that do not serve freedom of speech but endanger the security of Israel's citizens, and the main instrument for that has been Al Jazeera." Kara added.
"Recently, a number of countries determined that Al-Jazeera supports terror. And when we see that all these countries have determined as fact that Al-Jazeera is a tool of the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, and we are the only ones who have not determined that, then something delusional is happening here.”