Israeli forces destroy media outlets the building, which housed The Associated Press and Al Jazeera

 An Israeli air strike has destroyed a high-rise building that housed international media offices in the Gaza Strip, as the Hamas militant group continued a stream of rocket volleys into Israel.

Building housing media in Gaza collapses



     Rubble from a tower housing media targeted by the Israeli military


The air strike came nearly an hour after the Israeli military ordered people to evacuate the building, which housed The Associated Press and Al Jazeera, as well as other offices and residential apartments.


The strike brought the entire 12-storey building down, collapsing with a gigantic cloud of dust. 


An Israeli military spokesman confirmed it struck the media building. He said the building contained "Hamas military intelligence".


The spokesman said it warned people inside the high-rise building of the strike "and gave ample time to evacuate".


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country took "special care" to avoid civilian casualties when it bombed the building.


"They vacated the premises before the target was destroyed and that's why you don't hear of casualties from these collapsing terror towers, because we take special care to avoid these civil casualties; exactly the opposite of Hamas," Mr Netanyahu said.


Since Monday night, Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, which has pounded the Gaza Strip with strikes.


In Gaza, at least 145 people have been killed, including 41 children and 22 women, according to the Health Ministry.


Israel reported that 10 people had been killed in Israel, including two children and a man killed by a rocket that hit in Ramat Gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv. 


Journalists label air strike an 'attempt to silence reporting'

The International Federation of Journalists labelled the attack the latest in a pattern of "systematic targeting of media in Gaza in an attempt to try to control the narrative".


Al Jazeera journalist Youmna El Sayed told the ABC it was "really devastating" to have to leave everything behind and "evacuate instantly".


"It's not a coincidence that the two towers of media are being targeted and there is only one reason for that and that's to shut the media voice in the Gaza Strip," she said.


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Deputy general-secretary Jeremy Dear said it was the third media tower in Gaza that had been targeted and "completely destroyed".


"If it was just one accidental bombing, then you might say, well it's not deliberate, it's not targeted, it's not about silencing the media," he said.


"We've had internet blocks for many months, we've complained [about] the systematic targeting of Palestinian journalists by the Israeli authorities, and therefore the only conclusion we can draw is that this is an attempt to silence reporting about what's going on in Gaza

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