An Israeli airstrike in Gaza has destroyed a tower block in the city housing the offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press (AP).
The building was home to several other media outlets and offices including several internet providers, and private apartments.
The Saturday airstrike is the sixth consecutive day of hostilities between Israel and Hamas.
It occurred after the Israeli military telephoned a warning that the strike was imminent within an hour.
Three heavy missiles struck the 12-story building, collapsing it in a giant cloud of dust, according to the Associated Press.
The Associated Press president and CEO, Gary Pruitt, said he is “shocked and horrified” by the “incredibly disturbing” Israeli attack.
“The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today,” he said.
“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.”
“This is an incredibly disturbing development,” Mr Pruitt said, noting that “AP is seeking information from the Israeli government and is engaged with the U.S. State Department to try to learn more.”
Similarly, Al Jazeera condemned the bombing and destruction of its offices by the Israeli military in Gaza saying it is a clear act to stop journalists from conducting their sacred duty to inform the world and report events on the ground.
“The aim of this heinous crime is to silence the media and to hide the untold carnage and suffering of the people of Gaza,” said
Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Al Jazeera Media Network.
“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.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists said, “it is utterly unacceptable for Israel to bomb and destroy the offices of media outlets and endanger the lives of journalists, especially since Israeli authorities know where those media outlets are housed.”
“Israeli authorities must ensure that journalists can do their jobs safely without fear of being injured or killed,” the organisation said.
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