JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel intends to cancel an Al Jazeera journalist’s press accreditation on the grounds that he is biased toward the Palestinians, the director of the government press office said on Wednesday.
Nitzan Chen said Al Jazeera correspondent Elias Karram’s press card would be revoked, pending a hearing, because he told television station Dar al-Iman last year that he was actively siding with the Palestinians in his work as a reporter.
Karram is an Israeli Arab citizen from Nazareth, Chen’s office said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last month he would work to close down Qatar-based Al Jazeera, accusing it of inciting violence in Jerusalem.
“These remarks call into question the ability of Karram, the representative of a foreign network, to cover — as a professional journalist — the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which, according to his own words, he is taking an active part,” Chen wrote in a statement.
A clip from the interview Karram gave to the little-known TV station shows him saying: “A Palestinian journalist working in occupied territory … is no different to a politician or a teacher (resisting Israel’s occupation).
“The journalist is doing his part … with the pen, radio, voice or camera. You are part of this nation and you resist in your own way.”
After Kara’s announcement, the Foreign Press Association in Israel criticized the planned moves.
“Changing the law in order to shut down a media organization for political reasons is a slippery slope,” association executive secretary Glenys Sugarman said.