The Israeli air force has destroyed a tower block in Gaza City housing the offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera in what has widely been decried as an attack on press freedom.
The airstrikes on Saturday – the sixth consecutive day of hostilities between Israel and Hamas – came roughly an hour after the Israeli military ordered people to evacuate al-Jalaa tower.
There was no immediate explanation beforehand for why the 15-storey building was targeted. As well as the two international media organisations, the high-rise was home to several other media outlets, offices including several internet providers, and private apartments
The building was hit approximately six times before collapsing in plumes of black smoke, which engulfed the entire neighbourhood.
Al Jazeera broadcasted live a phone call between the building’s owner, Abu Husam, and an Israeli intelligence officer in which Husam asks the officer to give the media personnel time to evacuate equipment from their offices. His request was denied.
A statement from the Israel Defence Forces said the building had contained military assets belonging to the intelligence offices of Hamas.
Source: The Guardian