Qatar and Italy recently agreed to a massive $5.9 billion naval deal. In other news involving the country, on Sunday, Israel announced that it would be joining the brigade of Arab nations in blocking Qatar's Al-Jazeera network. This is of course only the latest news in the past few months involving the small Gulf state.

Qatar purchases vessels from Italy

Last Wednesday, Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani announced the naval deal with Italy. He did so during a joint news conference with Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano in Qatar's capital of Doha.

The deal is that Qatar will buy seven naval vessels from Italy for the sum mentioned above. Al Thani and Alfano mentioned how the deal shows the ongoing defense cooperation between the two countries.

The deal also shows off Qatar's economic power, even in the face of a blockade from their neighbors, as the country is the largest liquified natural gas exporter on Earth. Qatar, like many Gulf Arab countries, has spent a lot of money on military equipment in recent years. They have also signed a number of bilateral deals with America and various European countries. The country is also the hub of American-led missions against ISIS (Daesh) in the Middle East.

Israel joins blockade of Al-Jazeera network

Israel announced that it is planning on banning Al-Jazeera, Qatar's flagship TV network, from operating in its country. In recent months the network has been blocked by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other Arab countries in a separate political dispute that has been gripping the region.

Israel is going to ban the controversial network over allegations that it incites violence in the country.

Israeli communications minister Ayoob Kara said that he is going to revoke the press credentials of journalists from the network, which basically will prevent them from working in the country. He also added that he has requested that satellite and cable networks block Al-Jazeera.

Finally, Kara stated that he is looking into legislation that would ban the network altogether.

Al-Jazeera has already vowed to take legal action against Israel over then ban, condemning the measures as “undemocratic.” They also said that Al-Jazeera broadcasts will continue to be shown in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. There has not yet been a timetable laid out in terms of when Israel will begin these measures against the network.