Israeli Bombs Take Out Gaza Strip Office Building That House Al Jazeera And The AP.

An air bomb hits the building housing various international media, including The Associated Press on Saturday, May 15, 2021 in Gaza City. The attack came roughly an hour after the Israeli military ordered people to evacuate the building, which also housed Al-Jazeera and a number of offices and apartments. There was no immediate explanation for why the building was targeted. (Mahmud Hams /Pool Photo via AP)

Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip now has leveled an office building housing media organizations including Al Jazeera, and accusations are flying in regard to intentionally silencing journalists.

The bombings, which began last Monday, have killed at least 140 Palestinians, including 39 children and wounded 950 others.

The Israeli army, meanwhile, said hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza toward Israel.

In an Al Jazeera news story, Jeremy Dear, deputy general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists referred to the strategy he says “is an attempt to cover up what is happening in Gaza by directly attacking media facilities.”

Deer added, “This is the third attack on a tower which houses various media, on top of that we’ve recorded 30 incidents of journalists being beaten or being detained.” 

On Saturday, Al Jazeera promised every route would be explored to hold the Israeli government responsible.

The occupants of the structure that was hit, the al-Jalaa building, were reported to have received a warning – via Israeli army phone call – that they had less than one hour to get out. 

In addition to the Al Jazeera quarters, other international media outlets including the Associated Press and Middle East Eye have offices in the building.

The AP has a top floor office in that building.

“The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today,” AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said in a statement. “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.”

He said the AP was seeking information from the Israeli government and was in contact with the U.S. State Department. 

The United Nations estimates 10,000 Palestinians have left their homes in Gaza during the attacks.

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