Israel bans Al Jazeera

Israel's parliament has passed a bill giving senior ministers the power to ban the Al Jazeera news channel from broadcasting in Israel - a step Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is prepared to take.

This law, passed by 70 votes in favour and 10 against, gives the right to ban the broadcasting of content by foreign channels, but also allows the closure of their offices in Israel.

Netanyahu promised to take "immediate action" to close Al Jazeera in Israel once the law is passed.

In January, Israel said an Al Jazeera journalist and freelance contributor killed in an air strike in Gaza were "terrorist agents".

The following month it said another journalist for the channel, wounded in a separate strike, was a "deputy company commander" in Hamas.

The bill, which allows officials to shut down foreign media deemed harmful to national security, already passed its first parliamentary hurdle last month.

Netanyahu's Likud party said he had asked "to make sure that the law to shut down Al Jazeera will be approved tonight" in Israel's parliament, the Knesset.

Al Jazeera's bureau chief in the Palestinian territories, Wael al-Dahdouh, was also wounded - in an Israeli strike in December that killed a network cameraman. / BGNES