"Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has set his sights on a new enemy," Variety reports. That enemy, according to the report, is the TV network Al Jazeera.
The report quotes Lieberman saying: “Al Jazeera has abandoned even the semblance of a credible media outlet, and it broadcasts — both within Gaza and outside it, to the world — anti-Semitic incitement, lies, provocation and encouragement to terrorists."
With Israel entering the third week of its deadly showdown with Hamas in Gaza, Lieberman on Monday said the Israeli government is in the process of banning Al Jazeera, which he accuses of being a part of Hamas' propaganda effort.
"Al Jazeera is bankrolled by and maintains it headquarters in the tiny, oil-rich nation of Qatar, a country that is eager to play a more dominant role in Middle-Eastern politics, and despite having no formal relations with Israel, is known to maintain several back channels of trade and industry," Variety reports. "But Qatar is also the current home of Hamas leader Khaled Meshal and an open supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood."
Said Lieberman: “Qatar constitutes the economic spine of the most radical terrorist groups."
"Less than 24 hours after Lieberman’s statement, Al Jazeera reporters in Gaza said warning shots had been fired into their Gaza City headquarters," the Variety report adds. "Terrified staffers wrote on Twitter that the fire had come from Israel Defense Forces soldiers, and the building was evacuated."
Reports on the incident had conflicting versions, the article notes, with the IDF denying the incident and other reports attributing the facility's shattered windows to an explosion nearby.