Israeli Attacks Destroy Al Jazeera and AP Offices

Gaza, MINA – A building that houses international media offices including Al Jazeera and the American Associated Press (AP) News Agency in the Gaza Strip was also not spared from Israeli air raids that destroyed the building.

There was no further information on whether there were any victims in the attack on Saturday. Al Jazeera’s live video shows the 11-storey al-Jalaa building, which also houses several other offices, falling to the ground after being bombed and dust and debris flying into the air, Al Jazeera said.

Al Jazeera condemned the attack, calling on all media and human rights institutions to join in condemning the bombings and to hold the Israeli government accountable.

“Al Jazeera strongly condemns the bombing and destruction of its offices by the Israeli military in Gaza and views this as clear action to stop journalists from carrying out their sacred duty of informing the world and reporting on events on the ground,” Aljazeera said in a statement.

“Al Jazeera pledged to pursue every available avenue to hold the Israeli government accountable for its actions,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the AP said on Saturday that it was “shocked and horrified” by the Israeli air strikes.

“This is a very disturbing development. We nearly lost terrible lives, ”AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said in a statement.

“The world will know less about what happened in Gaza because of what happened today,” said Pruitt.

Israel claims that its fighter jets attacked a high-rise building that houses military assets belonging to the military intelligence organization Hamas.

“The building also houses civilian media offices, which are hidden by the Hamas terror group and used as human shields,” he said.

Al Jazeera’s Safwat al-Kahlout, reporting from Gaza City, said a resident of the building received a call from the Israeli army warning of an impending attack about an hour before it occurred.

Al-Kahlout, who was in the building at the time, said he and his colleagues were starting to collect as much as they could, from personal items and office equipment, especially cameras.

Then al-Kahlout, who said he had worked in the building for 11 years and frequently reported directly from its roof, witnessed at least three missiles hit the building and then collapse.

“I have covered many events from this building. We have many happy memories with our colleagues, ”he said.

Dozens of buildings have been destroyed, sometimes after warning phone calls or missile “knocks,” by Israeli attacks on Palestinian enclaves.

“Now, we can understand the feelings of people whose homes were destroyed by such air raids,” said al-Kahlout.

“It’s very hard to wake up one day and then you realize that your office isn’t there with all the career experiences, the memories you have,” he said.

Responding to news of the attack, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration had informed Israel that the safety and security of journalists was “the most important responsibility”.

At least 145 people have died in Gaza, including 41 children and 22 women, since Israeli bombardment began on Monday.

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)