Gaza Towers Destroyed By Israeli Attacks
Aledeh News quotes Al Jazeera that Al-Jalaa Tower housing the media and The Associated Press (AL bureaus has been brought down by an Israeli missile.
A warning had earlier been sent to residents of the building which housed residential apartments and the bureaus of two International media, to evacuate an hour before the air raid.
Live Al Jazeera video showed how the 11-storey Al-Jalaa building in the Gaza Strip got demolished after being bombed by an Israeli air raid.
Although the building crashed to the ground after being bombed as dust and debris flew into the air, it was not immediately clear if there were casualties in Saturday’s attack.
Al Jazeera in a statement, condemned the strike and called on “all media and human right institutions to join forces” in denouncing the bombing and to “hold the government of Israel accountable”.
The statement read, “Al Jazeera condemns in the strongest terms the bombing and destruction of its offices by the Israeli military in Gaza and views this as a clear act to stop journalists from conducting their sacred duty to inform the world and report events on the ground.”
“Al Jazeera promises to pursue every available route to hold the Israeli government responsible for its actions.”
Meanwhile, AP in reaction to the development on Saturday, said it was “shocked and horrified” by the Israeli airstrike.
AP President and Chief Executive Officer, Gary Pruitt in a statement, said “This is an incredibly disturbing development. We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life.”
Pruitt added, “The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.”
Israel said its “fighter jets attacked a high-rise building which hosted military assets belonging to the military intelligence of the Hamas terror organisation”.
It also stated that “The building also hosted offices of civilian media outlets, which the Hamas terror group hides behind and uses as human shields.”
Al Jazeera reporter at Gaza City, Safwat al-Kahlout, narrated how residents of the building received a call from the Israeli army warning of the impending attack about an hour before it was hit.
Al-Kahlout, who stated that he was in the building at the time, said he and his colleagues “started to collect as much as they could, from the personal and equipment of the office, especially the cameras”.
After watching at least three missiles hitting the building, and its subsequent collapse, al-Kahlout said:
“Now, one can understand the feeling of the people whose homes have been destroyed by such kind of air attacks,” al-Kahlout said. “It’s really difficult to wake up one day and then you realise that your office is not there with all the career experiences, memories that you’ve had.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki in reaction to the news of the strike, said the Biden administration had told the Israelis that safety and security of journalists was “a paramount responsibility”.
In Gaza, at least 140 people have been killed, including 39 children and 22 women, since the Israeli bombardment began on Monday.
In Israel on the other hand, at least nine people have been killed in rocket attacks from armed groups in Gaza.
Early on Saturday, an air attack hit a three-storey house in Gaza City’s Shati refugee camp, killing eight children and two women from an extended family.