Biden pushed to revoke Al Jazeera credentials after Israeli hostage reportedly found in journalist's home

FIRST ON FOX: President Biden is being pressured to revoke media credentials from Al Jazeera and cut off its access to the White House following revelations that one of its affiliated journalists reportedly held an Israeli hostage in their family’s Gaza home.

“It is no secret that Qatar-funded Al Jazeera has long been a mouthpiece for terrorists and has peddled anti-American sentiments,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote in a letter to Biden sent on Tuesday evening. “As such, I urge you to immediately revoke Al Jazeera’s access to the White House until it cuts all ties with U.S.-designated [Foreign Terrorist Organizations].”

Al Jazeera Media Network is a global media enterprise with numerous channels and publications in various languages. It originated in Qatar in 1996. It is still based in Qatar and notes on its website that it is “funded in part by the Qatari government.” The network also has dozens of bureaus in countries around the world.

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Marco Rubio demanded Biden revoke Al Jazeera’s White House press credentials after it was revealed Israeli hostages were held in the family home of one of its alleged journalists. (Getty Images)

“The list ofAl Jazeera‘journalists’ in Gaza who are supporting terrorism is only growing,” Rubio claimed.

“According to reports,three of the hostages rescued by Israeli Defense Forcesafter 246 days in captivity in Gaza, were held captive by PalestinianAl Jazeerajournalist,Abdallah Aljamal, and his extended family,” the Republican highlighted.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) alleged earlier this week that Aljamal, who was killed during the successful hostage rescue mission, “was a Hamas terrorist holding Almog, Andrey and Shlomi hostage in his family’s home in Nuseirat.” The IDF provided a screenshot of Aljamal’s author page on Al Jazeera.

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Earlier this month, Israel conducted the largest hostage recovery operation since the onset of the war with Hamas on Oct. 7, 2023, rescuing four Israeli hostages. Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 22, Shlomi Ziv, 41, and Andrey Kozlov, 27, were recovered by the IDF in central Gaza after being held for 246 days.

Al Jazeera pushed back against the connection to Aljamal, claiming he “has never worked with the Network, but had contributed to an Op-ed in 2019.” The network’s public relations X account added, “these allegations are completely unfounded.”

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Rubio noted that despite the claim from Al Jazeera, “he is listed on the company’s English language website as ‘a Gaza-based reporter and photojournalist’ who ‘often reports from the ongoing ‘March of Return’ protests at the fence separating besieged Gaza from Israel.’”

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Further, the Florida senator pointed out Aljamal was also a contributor to thePalestine Chronicle, which is “an English-language pro-Hamas outlet led by ex-Al Jazeeraofficial Ramzi Baroud.” Aljamal’s past stories with the outlet often refer to the war as a “genocide.”

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Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 22, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 41, were rescued in two separate locations in a complex special daytime operation in the heart of Nuseirat in central Gaza. (IDF)

As Rubio claimed, Baroud was once deputy managing editor of Al Jazeera online, per his LinkedIn profile. He now serves as editor of the Palestine Chronicle.

“A free press is built into the DNA of our nation,” Rubio prefaced. “However, for years, Al Jazeera has used its platform to sow anti-American sentiments and harm our own security and those of our allies.”

Israeli forces conducted a weekend rescue operation in the Gaza Strip while under heavy fire. (IDF)

“So long as it employs journalists and reporters who operate as members and affiliates of FTOs, Al Jazeera will continue to undermine our nation from inside our government buildings,” he claimed, adding, “There is absolutely no reason Al Jazeera, or its employees, should have access to you, the White House, or any of your advisors.”

He urged Biden to remove credentials from Kimberly Halkett, an Al Jazeera reporter covering the U.S., along with any other “employees who have access to the White House.”

The White House did not provide comment to Fox News Digital in time for publication.

Al Jazeera did not immediately provide comment to Fox News Digital when contacted.

Julia Johnson is a politics writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business, leading coverage of the U.S. Senate. She was previously a politics reporter at the Washington Examiner. 

Follow Julia’s reporting on X at @JuliaaJohnson_ and send tips to [email protected].

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