A building that housed the offices of international media outlets, including Al Jazeera, in the Gaza Strip has been hit by an Israeli air raid that later demolished the structure.
It was not immediately clear if there were casualties in Saturday’s attack. A live Al Jazeera video showed the 11-story Al-Jalaa building, which also housed a number of residences and other offices, crashing to the ground after being bombed as dust and debris flew into the air. The building also housed The Associated Press news agency bureau. Al Jazeera’s Safwat al-Kahlout, reporting from the city of Gaza, said a resident of the building received a call from the Israeli army warning of the impending attack about an hour before it was hit.
Al-Kahlout, who was in the building at the time, said he and colleagues “started to collect as much as they could, from personal belongings to office equipment, especially cameras”.
After watching at least three missiles hitting the building, and its subsequent collapse, al-Kahlout said he had worked at the building for 11 years, and often did live reporting from its roof.
“I have been covering lots of events from this building,” he said. “We have lots of good memories with our colleagues”. It was not immediately made clear why the building was targeted by Israel, but it comes as scores of structures have been demolished, sometimes after a warning phone call or missile “tap”, by Israeli attacks in the Palestinian enclave.
Israel has been conducting numerous air raids in the past few days following a diplomatic ultimatum made by Hamas officials to stop the aggressive acts of the Israeli police in the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem, against Palestinian worshippers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.