Press offices in Gaza Strip bombarded with rockets ‘after warning’

A missile strike hit a building in the Gaza Strip with international media offices, including the US news agency Associated Press and news channel Al Jazeera. Images show how the building collapses. “Now everything is gone in barely two seconds.”

The owner of the building would have been warned before the attack that Israel would launch a missile attack. This allowed people to be evacuated from the tower. After the missile attack, the building completely collapsed. “I worked in that building for eleven years,” says Al Jazeera correspondent Safwat al-Kahlout. “Now everything is gone in barely two seconds.”

AFP journalists also saw how the thirteen-storey building was pulverized by several rockets. “And now bombs could fall on our office. We ran down the stairs from the 11th floor and now looking at the building from afar, praying Israeli army would eventually retract,” Fares Akram, a correspondent for AP in the Gaza Strip, had tweeted shortly before the missile attack. “This is an incredibly frightening development,” said AP New York President and CEO Gary Pruitt. “We narrowly escaped a loss of a human life.”

Crime to silence media

“We immediately told Israel that safeguarding the safety of journalists and independent media is a priority responsibility,” said White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki. The bureau chief in Palestine and Israel of the Arab news channel al-Jazeera, Walid al-Oman, spoke of a “crime” and “an attempt to silence the media.”

A spokesman for the Israeli army confirms the attack and the warning. The building was targeted because of “military information from Hamas”. The spokesperson emphasizes that they have “given ample time to evacuate”. Nothing is yet known about possible victims.

In addition to international media, the building also housed offices of other organizations and apartments.

Missile attacks in Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan

There have also been rocket attacks in the Tel Aviv area today. At least one person would have been killed. The missile alarm blared three times in quick succession. Again and again, sirens and explosions could be heard. It was the eighth wave of attack on the Tel Aviv conurbation since Tuesday evening.

According to Israeli police, in the suburb of Ramat Gan, where two missiles hit today, a 50-year-old man suffered fatal injuries, according to health workers.

According to the latest estimate by Palestinian authorities, the escalating conflict has already caused 126 deaths in recent days, including 31 children. More than 950 people were injured in the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip.

Missiles and air raids

Israel and militant Palestinians have been bombarding each other for days. Since Monday, Israeli forces say more than 2,000 missiles have been fired from the Palestinian enclave on the coast. Israel responded by conducting large-scale airstrikes on targets in the area.

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