140 people killed in Gaza so far
A building that housed officers of international media outlets such as the Associated Press and Al Jazeera in Gaza has been destroyed by Israel.
The 11-storey al-Jalaa building also houses a number of residences and other offices. It is being reported that journalists were given an hour to evacuate the building.
Responding to the attack, Al Jazeera issued a statement in which it condemned the bombing. “This is a clear act to stop journalists from conducting their sacred duty to inform the world and report events on the ground,” it said.
“Al Jazeera promises to pursue every available route to hold the Israeli government responsible for its actions.”
AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt, said in a statement, that this is an incredibly disturbing development. “We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life.” The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today, he added.
The moment the building housing AlJazeera and the Associated Press offices in Gaza City was struck by an Israeli missile. Journalists were give an hour warning to evacuate. pic.twitter.com/11MMpvncCA— Arwa Ibrahim (@arwaib) May 15, 2021
Israel said, on the other hand, that its jets attacked a building that hosted “military assets belonging to the military intelligence of the Hamas terror organisation”.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said, in a statement, that Israeli forces must refrain from bombing media outlets.
“It is utterly unacceptable for Israel to bomb and destroy the offices of media outlets and endanger the lives of journalists, especially since Israeli authorities know where those media outlets are housed,” said CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa representative, Ignacio Miguel Delgado. “Israeli authorities must ensure that journalists can do their jobs safely without fear of being injured or killed.”
At least 140 people, including 39 children, have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza. In Israel, however, nine people have been killed in rocket attacks from armed groups in Gaza.