Israeli strike on Al-Jazeera and Associated Press media building in Gaza
A tower housing AP and Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza City on May 15, 2021. REUTERS - STRINGER
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The Israeli army carried out a strike on Saturday on the ten-story building housing the premises of the Qatari television station Al-Jazeera and the American news agency Associated Press (AP) in the Gaza Strip, AFP journalists observed.
An Israeli strike devastated the tower that houses the PA offices in Gaza City,
" wrote on Twitter Jon Gambrell, a reporter for the US agency.
The army warned the owner of the tower in which AP has its premises that it would be targeted
" by a strike, he wrote shortly before.
Gary Pruitt, @ AP's president and CEO: "We received a warning that the building would be hit. We are seeking information from the Israeli government and are engaged with the US State Department to try to learn more."
- Jon Gambrell جون (@jongambrellAP) May 15, 2021
AFP journalists saw the 13-story tower sprayed with several missiles.
Al-Jazeera channel confirmed on Twitter that its offices were in the building and broadcast live footage of the tower collapsing in a cloud of dust.
⭕ LIVE footage of the moment an Israeli air raid bombed the offices of Al Jazeera and The Associated Press in Gaza City ⬇️
🔴 LIVE updates: https://t.co/RvtP1lEX1x pic.twitter.com/RBO1ZiDAl0
- Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) May 15, 2021
Asked by AFP, the Israeli army did not react to this information immediately.
Bombs could fall on our desk.
We ran the stairs from the 11th floor and now look at the building from afar, praying that the army will eventually retract,
”Fares Akram, correspondent for AP in Gaza, tweeted shortly before the raid.
Jawad Mehdi, owner of the Jala Tower, said an Israeli intelligence officer warned him before the strike that he had one hour to evacuate the building.
He requested an additional ten minutes for reporters to pack their equipment, but was refused.
The IDF said military equipment from Hamas, the Islamist movement ruling the enclave, was in the tower hit by its fighter jets.
It is clear that it was decided not to cause destruction and deaths, but also to silence those who show it,
" responded to AFP Walid al-Omari, head of the Al- bureau. Jazeera in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
We will continue our news coverage despite the destruction (...) We will return to the air with new equipment,
" said Safwat al-Kahlout, correspondent for the Qatari channel in Gaza.
The Islamist movement Hamas in power in Gaza and Israel have since Monday exchanged deadly shootings from and towards the Palestinian enclave of two million inhabitants.
The last assessment of the Palestinian authorities reported Friday evening of 139 dead, among which 39 children, and 1000 wounded in the Israeli bombardments.
More than 2,300 rockets have been launched by Palestinian armed groups into Israeli territory since Monday, killing nine people, including a child and a soldier, and injuring more than 560.
According to the army, the "Iron Dome" anti-missile shield intercepted more than half of these missiles.
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