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World

Netanyahu claims building housing media was a 'legitimate target'

  • An Israeli airstrike has destroyed a high-rise tower that housed The Associated Press, Al-Jazeera's offices in the Gaza Strip.
  • "Israel has given a “warning” that it will bomb the building that houses Al Jazeera offices and other international media channels in Gaza City in one hour...our colleagues have already evacuated," noted an Al-Jazeera reporter.
Updated 16 May 2021

Israeli airstrikes have destroyed a building in Gaza that housed The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera's offices.

On Sunday, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres pleaded for an immediate end to the surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence, warning the Security Council that the fighting could potentially plunge the region into an "uncontainable" crisis.

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that the buildings housing the media were a "perfectly legitimate target".

Linah Alsaafin, an online producer with Al Jazeera English in a Twitter post said that "Israel has given a “warning” that it will bomb the building that houses Al Jazeera offices and other international media channels in Gaza City in one hour...our colleagues have already evacuated."

"Al Jazeera broadcasted live the phone call (on speaker) between Israel intelligence officer and Abu Husam, the owner of the Jalaa building. The owner is telling the Israeli to give the media time to evacuate their equipment from the building, the officer said no," she added.

The Israeli military has not issued a statement explaining why the building was targeted. The strike came hours after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza city killed at least 10 people, a majority of whom were children, AP reported.

"US and Arab diplomats are seeking to calm the situation. Violence overnight saw fighters fire about 200 rockets at cities in Israel, whose planes struck what it said were targets used by Hamas," reported Reuters.

So far, at least 139 people have been killed in Gaza since hostilities erupted five days ago.

Israeli forces in a statement said that the targetted building housed militant groups, as well as media offices and it was being used to plan against Israel.