Middle East

Websites of Al-Jazeera, Qatari dailies inaccessible in Saudi Arabia, UAE

On Wednesday, the website of the pan-Arab satellite broadcaster was not accessible in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The website and Twitter accounts of official Qatar News Agency, al-Jazeera Documentary channel, al-Jazeera English news channel, Arabic-language and political newspaper al-Watan, semi-official al-Raya newspaper, al-Arab daily as well as Arabic and pro-government al-Sharq daily were also inaccessible in both countries during the day.

At the same time, Al-Jazeera television network was unavailable for some time in the UAE, though it was unclear if it was blocked on purpose.

The developments came a day after Qatar’s state-run news agency ran a story, saying the small and gas-rich kingdom had ordered its ambassadors from Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates withdrawn over “tension” with the administration of US President Donald Trump.

The article, quoting the Qatari monarch, also called Iran an “Islamic power” and praised the Hamas resistance movement as “the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry later claimed that its state agency had been hacked and the emir’s statements had been forged.

Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed Al Thani, the director of the Qatari government’s communications office, also issued a statement, saying authorities had launched an investigation.

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