Turkey condemns Israeli strike on Gaza building with media offices
It is a “blow on the freedom of the press,” Turkey’s communications director said on May 15 after Israeli strikes destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed the offices of various media groups.
"Israel continues to carry out massacres and commit war crimes. The occupying Israel, which targets the Associated Press and Al Jazeera offices in Gaza, has also inflicted a blow on the freedom of the press. I condemn Israel's heinous attacks on press centres in order to conceal its massacres,” Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter.
Turkey's presidential spokesman also condemned the attack.
"Israel targets int’l press building in Gaza, adding to its war crimes in the Palestinian territories. We condemn this Israeli aggression, which knows no boundaries," said İbrahim Kalın on Twitter.
"Our fight against this malignant power will continue until the occupation is over & Palestine is liberated," he wrote.
Israeli warplanes on May 15 destroyed a building in Gaza City with offices of various media groups, including Qatari media group Al Jazeera and the American Associated Press.
The 13-story building, one of Gaza’s oldest multi-story buildings, had a total of 60 units, including offices of media companies, legal firms, and doctors.
Offices of Mayadeen Company for media services, radio station of Voice of Prisoners, and Doha Media Center were among the media offices destroyed by the Israeli shelling.
Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip in airstrikes since May 10, killing at least 188 people.
At least five multi-story buildings have also been destroyed in Israel’s recent air raids on the besieged Palestinian territory.
"It is clear that those who are waging this war do not only want to spread destruction and death in Gaza, but also to silence media that are witnessing, documenting and reporting the truth," Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem bureau chief, Walid al-Omari, told AFP.
AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said he was "shocked and horrified" by the attack.
Biden expresses ’grave concern’ over recent violence to Netanyahu: White House
Meanwhile U.S. President Joe Biden, in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressed his "grave concern" on May 15 over the flareup of violence in Israel and Gaza, the White House announced.
Biden expressed his "strong support" for Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks by "Hamas and other terrorist groups."
But he also raised concerns about the safety of journalists after Israeli planes flattened the building housing The Associated Press and other media outlets, according to the statement.
Biden also told Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on May 15 that Hamas must stop rocket attacks on Israel, the White House said.
Biden, in his first call with Abbas, "stressed the need for Hamas to cease firing rockets into Israel," a statement said.
Biden also "underscored his strong commitment to a negotiated two-state solution as the best path to reach a just and lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."