Hours after killing at least 10 Palestinians in an airstrike on Gaza’s al-Shati refugee camp, per The New York Times, Israel’s military launched another attack on Gaza City in an apparent attempt to silence journalists covering the apartheid state’s violent occupation of Palestine for international audiences.
Israeli military fighter jets attacked the al-Jalaa tower in Gaza City on Saturday, Al Jazeera reports, toppling the 11-story building that housed a number of residences and offices as well as the international bureaus for Al Jazeera, the Associated Press, and London’s Middle East Eye.
“The aim of this heinous crime is to silence the media and to hide the untold carnage and suffering of the people of Gaza,” wrote Dr. Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Al Jazeera Media Network, in a statement, noting that they were given less than one hour’s notice to vacate the building. “The destruction of Al Jazeera offices and that of other media organizations in al-Jalaa tower in Gaza is a blatant violation of human rights and is internationally considered a war crime.”
“We call on the international community to condemn such barbaric actions and targeting of journalists and we demand an immediate international action to hold Israel accountable for its deliberate targeting of journalists and the media institutions,” he continued.
AP president and CEO Gary Pruitt echoed Souag’s condemnation of the airstrike on the tower, which the IDF claimed held purported “military assets belonging to Hamas” in an interview with the Times.
“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,” Pruitt said in a statement. “This is an incredibly disturbing development. We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life. A dozen AP journalists and freelancers were inside the building and thankfully we were able to evacuate them in time.”
“The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today,” he continued.
Gaza’s health ministry told the Times that Israel’s recent airstrikes have killed 139 people, 39 of whom were children, and injured thousands.