- Al-Jalaa tower housed the offices of several international media organizations.
- Those in the office building were not given time to evacuate their equipment, according to Al Jazeera.
- It was flattened by an Israeli airstrike about an hour after a warning was issued, the Associated Press reported.
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Al-Jalaa tower, home to the offices of several international news organizations, has been destroyed by an Israeli airstrike, the Associated Press reported.
The Gaza tower housed the offices of the Associated Press, Al Jazeera, and local media outlets. The Israel Defense Force claimed that the building was being used by “Hamas military intelligence,” though it so far has not provided specific details.
The attack was condemned by the leaders of both the Associated Press and Al Jazeera. Gary Pruitt, the AP’s president and CEO, released a statement urging the Israeli government to provide evidence that the building contained Hamas military intelligence assets, noting that the news organization has worked in the building for 15 years.
“We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building. This is something we actively check to the best of our ability. We would never knowingly put our journalists at risk,” Pruitt said.
Following the strike, US President Joe Biden on Saturday spoke Tuesday to both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Israeli forces warned those in the building about an hour before the attack that the army would target the high-rise building, according to the AP. Those in the office were not given time to evacuate their equipment from the building, Al Jazeera producer Linah Alsaafin said.
“We ran down the stairs from the 11th floor and now looking at the building from afar, praying Israeli army would eventually retract,” the AP’s correspondent in Gaza, Fares Akram, wrote shortly after the warning was issued.
-Fares Akram (@faresakram) May 15, 2021
Videos of the airstrike show that the building was flattened almost immediately.
-Kalvin Ng (@kalvin_ng) May 15, 2021