Israeili airstrike destroys building housing Al Jazeera, The Associated Press offices
May 15 2021 04:32 PM
Gaza tower housing Al Jazeera, AP is seen during a missile strike in Gaza city, May 15, 2021.
Gaza tower housing Al Jazeera, AP is seen during a missile strike in Gaza city, May 15, 2021.

Agencies

An Israeli air strike Saturday demolished the 11-storey Al Jalaa building housing Al Jazeera television and The Associated Press in the Gaza Strip. 

The airstrike on Saturday came roughly an hour after the Israeli military ordered people to evacuate the building. 

Jawad Mehdi, the owner of the Al Jalaa Tower, said an Israeli intelligence officer warned him he had just one hour to ensure the evacuation of the building.

In a phone call with the officer, he begged for an extra 10 minutes to allow journalists to retrieve their equipment before leaving.

"Give us ten extra minutes," he urged, but the officer on the other end of the line refused, according to AFP.

Wael Al Dahdouh, Al Jazeera's bureau chief in Gaza told AFP: "It's terrible, very sad, to target the Al Jazeera and other press bureaux".

Live Al Jazeera video showed the 11-storey Al Jalaa building crashing to the ground after being bombed as dust and debris flew into into air.

The Al Jalaa Tower, housed about 60 apartments for citizens, several local radio stations, as well as offices of lawyers and doctors, in addition to the Al Jazeera and AP offices.

Israel alleged its "fighter jets attacked a high-rise building which hosted military assets belonging to the military intelligence of the Hamas terror organisation".

"The building also hosted offices of civilian media outlets, which the Hamas terror group hides behind and uses as human shields," it said.

Israeli air and artillery strikes on Gaza since Monday have killed 139 people including 39 children, and wounded 1,000 more, health officials in the coastal enclave say.

Last updated: May 15 2021 04:55 PM


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