Israeli strikes destroy Gaza building with offices of Al Jazeera, Associated Press
Israeli warplanes on May 15 destroyed a building in Gaza City with offices of various media groups, including Al Jazeera and the Associated Press.
An Anadolu Agency correspondent reported that several Israeli missiles hit the Al-Jala Tower.
The 13-story building, one of Gaza’s oldest multistory buildings, had a total of 60 units, including offices of media companies, legal firms, and doctors.
The offices of Mayadeen Company for media services, the radio station of Voice of Prisoners, and the Doha Media Center were among the media offices destroyed by Israeli shelling.
Israel has destroyed at least 4 multistory buildings since it launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip this past Monday.
The American news agency Associated Press voiced “shock and horror” over an Israeli attack targeting a building that houses its office in Gaza City.
“We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza,” Associated Press CEO and President Gary Pruitt said in a statement.
“We are seeking information from the Israeli government and are engaged with the U.S. State Department to try to learn more,” he added.
Despite Israel’s knowing the location of the Associated Press office there, Pruitt said that they received a warning that the building would be hit.
“This is an incredibly disturbing development. We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life. A dozen AP journalists and freelancers were inside the building and thankfully we were able to evacuate them in time,” he stated.
“The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today,” he concluded.
In the meantime, a family of 10 were killed early on May 15 in an Israeli airstrike on the western Gaza Strip, medics in the Palestinian enclave said.
Eight children and two women, all belonging to the Abu Hatab family, were killed in the three-story building in Shati refugee camp that collapsed following an Israeli strike, medical sources said.
Israeli attacks on the blockaded Gaza Strip has taken the death toll to 144, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
Meanwhile, Hamas' military wing, the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, announced that Ashdod, Beersheba, was hit by rockets in response to an attack on a house in the Al-Shati refugee camp and to avenge Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank.
Three Palestinians, including two siblings, were killed in late-night attacks by Israeli war jets on the Tel Kuleybu area in northern Gaza.
Total fatalities in Gaza includes 37 children and 22 women, while the number injured exceeds 950 since Monday, said a statement from the ministry.
Israeli forces carried out nearly 30 airstrikes between Friday evening and Saturday morning targeting northern Gaza.
The Kuleybu Mosque was completely destroyed in an attack, Gaza's Ministry of Foundations and Religious Affairs said in a statement.
Before that attack, Israel killed seven civilians, including five children and two women.
Witnesses said the bodies were taken to Shifa hospital after the bombing of a house belonging to the Abu Hatab family in the Al-Shati refugee camp.
A search for missing people under the rubble is underway, they said. Israeli warplanes resumed airstrikes Friday on the blockaded Gaza Strip, causing heavy damage to residential buildings across the enclave.
Meanwhile, 11 Palestinians were killed Friday as Israeli forces clashed with demonstrators to disperse rallies in parts of the West Bank.
Also, Lebanese authorities announced that a Lebanese youth was killed when Israeli artillery fire targeted protesters along the Israeli security fence in the south of the country.
3 rockets fired toward Israel from Syria: Israeli army
Meanwhile, three rockets were fired from Syria toward northern Israel, said the Israeli army late on May 14.
Two of the rockets fired from Syria crashed into open fields of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights while another exploded on Syrian soil, said the Israeli forces in a written statement.
It also added that no injury or damage was reported.
Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem and at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Damascus Gate since the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan as Israeli forces and settlers assaulted Palestinians.
Tensions moved from East Jerusalem to Gaza after Palestinian resistance groups there vowed to retaliate against Israeli assaults on Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah if they were not halted.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.