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Israel raps Al-Jazeera over Kuntar party

Israel is withholding administrative support for Al-Jazeera after the satellite news channel feted Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar.

The Government Press Office in Jerusalem said Wednesday that it would refuse to extend anything but mandatory help to the local Al-Jazeera staff.

The move comes after the Qatari-owned network’s Beirut bureau hosted a televised birthday party last month for Kuntar, who was freed from an Israeli prison as part of a swap with Hezbollah.

The office, which issues press certification, often intercedes when journalists complain of problems with Israeli bureaucracy.

Israel last tussled with Al-Jazeera in March, announcing a boycott of the channel for what it described as its one-sided coverage of the fight against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

That measure was quietly abandoned following reconciliation talks between Al-Jazeera’s Jerusalem bureau chief and government officials.

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