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Lapid says confiscation of Associated Press equipment ‘an act of madness’

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid took to X to denounce the seizure of a camera and broadcasting equipment belonging to The Associated Press (AP) by officials in southern Israel. The AP was accused of violating a new media law by providing images to Al Jazeera.

  • “This is not Al Jazeera, this is an American media outlet that has won 53 Pulitzer Prizes”, Lapid wrote.

  • “This government behaves as if it has decided to make sure at all costs that Israel will be swayed all over the world. They went crazy”.

Israeli officials used the foreign broadcaster law to close down the offices of Al Jazeera on May 5, as well as confiscating the channel’s equipment, banning its broadcasts, and blocking its websites.

Source: Al Jazeera

In the last couple of hours in the southern Israeli city of Sderot, Israeli Ministry of Communications officials went to a live-shot position that The Associated Press has, which gives a live feed of northern Gaza to its clients so they can broadcast that live feed to their viewers.

Al Jazeera is one of those clients – AP has thousands of clients.

  • Ministry of Communications officials gave them a verbal order to shut down the transmission. AP refused and then their camera was confiscated and they were given an order by the ministry to cease broadcasting.

AP provided us with a statement that says:

“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.

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.

  • “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.”
  • “Again, they have thousands of clients around the world – they don’t just provide a live feed to Al Jazeera.
  • “But the Israeli government is utilising the law that they passed in order to shut down Al Jazeera and now they’re going after The AP.”

Source: Mohammed Jamjoom – Al Jazeera