A building that had housed international media offices including Al Jazeera’s in the Gaza Strip was hit by an Israeli air strike that totally demolished the structure.
It was not immediately clear if there were casualties in the attack. Live Al Jazeera video showed the 11-storey al Jalaa building, which also houses a number of residences and other offices, crashing to the ground after being bombed as dust and debris flew into into air.
The building also housed The Associated Press bureau.
Al Jazeera’s Safwat Al Kahlout, reporting from Gaza, said a resident of the building received a call from the Israeli army warning of the impending strike 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 the personnel and equipment, especially the cameras”.
After watching at least three missiles strike the building, and its subsequent collapse, Al Kahlout said he had worked at the building for 11 years, and often did live reports 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 comes as scores of structure have been demolished, sometimes after a warning phone call or missile “tap”, by Israeli attacks in the Palestinian enclave.
The 11-storey residential building called Al-Jalaa has now collapsed. pic.twitter.com/VUFxxJCuW3
— Arwa Ibrahim (@arwaib) May 15, 2021
“Now, no one can understand the feeling of the people whose homes have been destroyed by such kind of air attacks,” Al Kahlout said. “It’s really difficult to wake up one day and then you realize that your office is not there with all the career experiences, memories that you’ve had.”
In Gaza, at least 140 people have been killed, including 39 children and 22 women since the Israeli bombardment began on Monday.
In Israel, seven people have been killed, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier, in rocket attack from armed groups in Gaza.
Early Saturday, an air strike hit a three-story house in Gaza City’s Shati refugee camp, killing eight children and two women from an extended family.