Israel passes law granting power to clamp down on foreign media

The Israeli parliament has passed a law that allows the government to regulate foreign media outlets deemed to be threatening the country's national security.

The Knesset passed the legislation with a majority vote on Monday.

The law gives the government authority to temporarily shut down media outlets and halt their broadcasts, among other measures.

On the same day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced in a statement his intention to immediately halt broadcasts of Qatar-based Al Jazeera from within Israel.

Al Jazeera's correspondents in the Gaza Strip have provided daily coverage of the death and destruction caused by the Israeli offensive there.

Netanyahu has become an increasingly outspoken critic of the network's reporting.

The media outlet issued a statement on Tuesday saying, "This latest measure comes as part of a series of systematic Israeli attacks to silence Al Jazeera." The statement accused Israel of killing three of its journalists, and arresting and intimidating its reporters in the field.

Al Jazeera said that "such slanderous accusations will not deter us from continuing our bold and professional coverage." The network said it "reserves the right to pursue every legal step."

The Committee to Protect Journalists, an international non-profit organization, has expressed concern over the new law, which it said poses "a significant threat to international media within the country."