This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 89%. (I’m a bot)Iraqi demonstrators wave Palestinian flags during a protest to express solidarity with the Palestinian people amid a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in Baghdad Qatar.People hold up Palestinian flags during a protest in support of Palestinians following a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence Spain.Some protesters threw Molotov cocktails and rocks over the wall during a protest on Saturday in the Lebanese border village of Odayseh, where hundreds marched waving Palestinian and Lebanese flags, as well as the yellow banners of the Hezbollah group.Extended Summary | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: Palestinian#1 protest#2 flag#3 people#4 violence#5
Youmna al-Sayed had less than an hour to get to safety.
But with just one elevator working in al-Jalaa tower, an 11-storey building in Gaza City housing some 60 residential apartments and a number of offices, including those of Al Jazeera Media Network and The Associated Press, al-Sayed made a dash for the stairs.
“We left the elevator for the elderly and for the children to evacuate,” the Palestinian freelance journalist said. “And we were all running down the stairs and whoever could help children took them down,” she added. “I myself helped two children of the residents there and I took them downstairs – everyone was just running quickly.”
Moments earlier, the Israeli army, which has been bombarding Gaza for six straight days, had given a telephone warning that residents had just an hour to evacuate the building before its fighter jets attacked it.
Al Jazeera’s Safwat al-Kahlout also had to move quickly. He and his colleagues “started to collect as much as they could, from the personal and equipment of the office – especially the cameras”, al-Kahlout said.
But more time was needed.
“Just give me 15 minutes,” an AP journalist pleaded over the phone with an Israeli intelligence officer. “We have a lot of equipment, including the cameras, other things,” he added from outside the building. “I can bring all of it out.”
Jawad Mahdi, the building’s owner, also tried to buy more time.
“All I’m asking is to let four people … to go inside and get their cameras,” he told the officer. “We respect your wishes, we will not do it if you don’t allow it, but give us 10 minutes.”
“There will be no 10 minutes,” the officer replied. “No one is allowed to enter the building, we already gave you an hour to evacuate.”
When the request was rejected, Mahdi said: “You have destroyed our life’s work, memories, life. I will hang up, do what you want. There is a God.”
The Israeli army claimed there were “military interests of the Hamas intelligence” in the building, a standard line used after bombing buildings in Gaza, and it accused the group running the territory of using journalists as human shields. However, it provided no evidence to back up its claims.
“I have been working in this office for more than 10 years and I have never seen anything [suspicious],” al-Kahlout said.
AP VIDEO: Associated Press staff evacuated their office in Gaza City shortly before the building was destroyed in an Israel airstrike. https://t.co/Ib5T2SohXq
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 15, 2021
“I even asked my colleagues if they’ve seen anything suspicious and they all confirmed to me that they have never seen any military aspects or the fighters even coming in and out,” he added.
“In our building, we have lots of families that we know for more than 10 years, we meet each other every day on our way in and out to the office.”
Gary Pruitt, president and CEO of AP, also told Al Jazeera: “I can tell you that we’ve been in that building for about 15 years for our bureau. We certainly had no sense that Hamas was there.”
Al-Sayed, who has been covering Israel’s bombardment for Al Jazeera and has worked for AP, said she could not understand what threat a building housing families and offices for lawyers, doctors and media workers could pose.
“Where is the alarm from this? Where are the Hamas or any military members that could be in this building?” the Gaza resident asked.
“The people here, the residents, all know each other. The first five floors are for offices that are [closed] during this time of escalation. So basically what is [still here] are the two media offices of Al Jazeera and AP and the residential apartments.”
Still, at 3:12pm (12:12 GMT), the first Israeli strike came. Five minutes later, al-Jalaa tower crashed to the ground after being hit by three missiles that sent a dark cloud of dust and debris into the air. There have been no immediate reports of casualties.
“Years of memories, years of work in this building, suddenly, everything is rubble,” said al-Kahlout, about the tower from whose roof he often broadcast from. “Just vanished.”
BREAKING: Israeli air raid flattens building that houses Al Jazeera and other international media outlets in Gaza City.
Follow our LIVE coverage: https://t.co/RvtP1lEX1x pic.twitter.com/pr963DBTde
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) May 15, 2021
Islam az-Zaeem, a lawyer who worked in the building, was at home when his cousin – the owner of the Johara building that was flattened overnight on May 13 – knocked on his door and told him al-Jalaa was about to be destroyed.
“I ran to the building and saw the residents and other employees gathered outside,” az-Zaeem told Al Jazeera.
“I went inside and took the stairs since the electricity was out and the elevators weren’t working. I was hysterical, and fell down several times in the dark, shouting and crying.”
Az-Zaeem, who said nine legal associates and four interns worked on his floor, left the building five minutes before it was levelled.
“Even after the building fell, I kept shouting that I’d forgotten to lock the door to my office,” he said. “Imagine that.”
The building, built in the mid-1990s, was one of Gaza City’s oldest high-rises.
Fares al-Ghoul, the executive director for the Mayadeen Media Group, said his company was previously based in the Shorouq building, which was destroyed by Israeli missiles on May 13.
“The upper floors of Shorouq were targeted in the 2014 war,” he said. “In 2019, we moved the company to al-Jalaa building because we thought it would be safer, since it accommodated the offices of international media agencies.”
“Now both have been destroyed,” he said.
The bombing of al-Jalaa, widely condemned as an attempt to “silence” journalists covering Israel’s offensive, came just hours after an Israeli air raid at Shati refugee camp killed 10 members of the same family – eight children, two women – celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the religious festival marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
At least 145 Palestinians, including 39 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Israeli air raids on the coastal Palestinian territory began on Monday. About 950 others have been wounded.
The violence comes after Israel’s plan to forcibly displace Palestinian families from occupied East Jerusalem and its attacks on Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound spurred widespread protests in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and inside Israel. Hamas said it began firing rockets towards Israel in response to that Israeli crackdown. At least nine people have also been killed in Israel.
As evening fell on Gaza, families and journalists started returning to al-Jalaa in the hopes of salvaging some of their belongings buried underneath the rubble.
“One person came back to look for some paintings done by his daughter because these paintings carried a lot of memories,” said al-Kahlout, who continued reporting from the streets of the bombarded enclave. “We moved outside and are now applying our emergency plans for reporting. We are trying to be safe. No place is safe in Gaza but we are trying to do our best.”
BREAKING NEWS: Israeli air strike flattens media building with our @AlJazeera and AP offices .. we are watching it live as it unfolds. Beyond SHOCKED!!! No words. pic.twitter.com/PnIQXCap6Z
— Sara Khairat | سارة خيرت (@sarakhairat) May 15, 2021
Al-Sayed, meanwhile, headed to al-Shifa Hospital, believed to be a safe space to broadcast from. “It’s devastating,” she said of the al-Jalaa building’s flattening.
“I worked in that place and my heart was broken to see it being brought to the ground, it was tragic. Every place whether we work or we live, we have incredible memories,” she added.
“What about those families who have lost their homes, who have lost everything they saved to get these apartments? In Gaza, it’s not an easy thing to be able to get an apartment, and now in just minutes, [they] lose everything.
“Words can’t describe the amount of devastation, can’t describe the tragedy that people are going through.”
A Palestinian police officers stands in the rubble of al-Jalaa building [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]With additional reporting by @LinahAlsaafin.
Intense Israeli airstrikes on Gaza on Saturday killed eight young cousins who had gathered to celebrate Eid with their mothers, and destroyed the high-rise tower that housed the Associated Press, the leading news agency of its greatest ally.Mohammed Haddidi’s wife and five sons were inside the house when it was bombed, and only five-month-old Omar was pulled from the rubble alive. Rescuers searched for survivors through piles of shattered concrete dotted with toys, a Monopoly boardgame and holiday food prepared for a meal that was never enjoyed.“My wife had gone to visit her brother, and because the children were enjoying playing with their cousins, they asked to spend the night and she agreed,” he told the Observer. Those childhood games would doom almost all of them.The airstrike that killed Haddidi’s family came just a few hours before the daytime demolition of al Jalaa tower, which housed media offices including Al Jazeera, AP and AFP. AP described the missile strikes, which were broadcast live on TV as “the latest step by the military to silence reporting from the territory”, and warned that “the world will know less about what is happening in Gaza” because of it.Saturday, the sixth day of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants, was also Nakba (Catastrophe) Day. This commemorates the estimated 700,000 people who were expelled or fled their homes in what is now Israel during the 1948 war surrounding its creation.Over a week, the conflict has escalated into the most intense exchanges of fire since the 2014 Gaza war, exacerbated by unrest in the occupied West Bank, all amid fears that the situation could spiral further into a new Palestinian intifada, or uprising.Serious communal violence inside Israel, such as nightly street attacks carried out by far-right Jewish gangs and Arab youths, have inflamed the situation. On Saturday, a 12-year-old Arab boy was in hospital on a ventilator and with facial burns after a Molotov cocktail that was thrown into his home.Diplomatic efforts to broker a ceasefire in Gaza made slow progress, even after US envoy Hady Amr flew into Israel and the UN Security Council finally confirmed a meeting about the crisis for Sunday.Palestinians look at destruction caused by Israeli air strikes that killed ten members of the Abu Hatab Hadidi family in Gaza City. Photograph: Khalil Hamra/APIsrael turned down an Egyptian proposal for a one-year truce that Hamas rulers had accepted, an Egyptian official told the AP on Friday. Defence minister Benny Gantz has previously said the bombing will continue until Israel achieves “total, long term quiet.”As officials tried to broker talks, people died from missile and rocket strikes on both sides of the frontier, although casualties were more than ten times higher in the tiny, crowded Gaza strip, where there are few air-raid shelters and residents have nowhere to run to escape Israeli bombardment.In Gaza at least 139 people have been killed, including 39 children and 22 women, health authorities say. In Israel, ten people have been killed including a five-year old boy and a soldier.In a story published only hours before AP staff watched their office reduced to a smoking pile of rubble, correspondent Fares Akram had written that the tower was “the only place in Gaza City I feel somewhat safe”.“The Israeli military has the coordinates of the high-rise, so it’s less likely a bomb will bring it crashing down,” he wrote. “When the thundering bombs, buzzing drones and pounding artillery refresh the pain and trigger the old fear, I seek refuge in work.”AP CEO Gary Pruitt said he was “shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organisations in Gaza.” Pruitt says AP is seeking information from the Israeli government.Al Jazeera vowed to “pursue every available route to hold the Israeli government responsible for its actions”. Director General Mostefa Souag described the attack as a war crime that aimed “to silence the media and to hide the untold carnage and suffering of the people of Gaza”.Media organisations and others in the building were given only an hour’s warning to get people and equipment out of the tower before the strike.President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said the US had told Israeli authorities “that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility,” but did not condemn the attack.Israeli’s military, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), said the high rise tower contained “military assets belonging to the intelligence offices of the Hamas terror organisation”. It added later that the building housed a Hamas “Research and Development unit”.It also said it had attacked “a number of Hamas terror organisation senior officials, in an apartment” in the al Shati refugee camp.The only building hit overnight by airstrikes in that camp was a three-storey complex with a family home over a grocer and hairdresser, owned by Haddidi’s brother-in-law.Haddidi heard the bomb land without knowing its target, then he got the call saying his family had been hit. He raced to the ruins of his brother’-in-law’s home but there were no survivors there so he went on to the hospital.“I was happy that Omar was still alive, but at the same time, I asked what future awaits this infant,” he said. “He has a broken leg, and an eye injury.” One of his cousins, a girl, is in intensive care.The other eight children and their mothers, have all been buried already. Neighbours and the ministry of health said no adult men were among the dead or the injured.Neighbours said there was no warning of the attack, the deadliest single strike of this conflict.Hamas said it fired rockets at southern Israel in response; it has poured over 2,000 across the frontier since Monday according to the Israeli military and although most have been stopped by the “Iron Dome” missile defence system, some have landed, killing people and damaging property.The Israeli military’s conduct had already caused tensions with international media, even before the Gaza offices were bombed.There were reports that a military spokesman had lied to the English-language press as part of an elaborate ruse to lure Hamas militants into a trap, by making them think a ground operation was under way.The allegations caused anger and fear in regional newsrooms. “It’s a very dangerous place for the I.D.F. to be, to be suspected of misleading the international press, especially when we’re on the verge of an escalation with Hamas,” Amos Harel, a military analyst for Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper, told the New York Times.“It’s risky for journalists, too,” he added. “The Israeli Army may be forgetting that foreign journalists are on both sides of the fence, and it could be dangerous for them if they’re suspected of being used for Israeli psychological operations.”
Israel PM told Biden that Israel did its utmost to safeguard civilians in its Gaza bombing campaignJerusalem: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US President Joe Biden that Israel did its utmost to safeguard civilians in its Gaza bombing campaign, after an air strike demolished a tower hosting the Associated Press news agency. “Netanyahu stressed that Israel is doing everything to avoid harming those uninvolved,” a readout from the Israeli premier’s office said. “The proof is that towers containing terror sites are cleared of uninvolved people prior to being attacked.”(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
The Associated Press and Al Jazeera have both issued statements condemning the bombing of Gaza media offices by the Israeli military, claiming that the “disturbing” attack almost killed several reporters.
Following the targeted bombing on Saturday, which destroyed the building containing international media offices in Gaza, AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said the company was “shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building,” as they have “long known the location of our bureau and knew journalists were there.”“We are seeking information from the Israeli government and are engaged with the US State Department to try to learn more,” he revealed, calling the bombing “an incredibly disturbing development.”
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Israeli airstrike levels Gaza tower housing AP, Al Jazeera & other international media (VIDEO)
Though the news organization received warning to evacuate the building around an hour before the airstrike, Pruitt said they “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,” he concluded.The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.In their own statement, Al Jazeera accused the Israeli government of trying to “silence media that are witnessing, documenting and reporting the truth of what is happening in Gaza.”“This is a crime among a series of crimes perpetrated by the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip,” said Al Jazeera Jerusalem bureau chief Walid al-Omari, who added that it would be “impossible” to stop the truth.The Israel Defense Forces justified the attack by alleging that Hamas was also using the building for “intelligence gathering” and other purposes, and that it had thus become a “lawful military target.”Following the bombing of the tower, an Al Jazeera English anchorwoman declared on air, “This channel will not be silenced. Al Jazeera will not be silenced.”
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‘Warms your heart to see’: American conservatives celebrate Israeli bombing of AP & Al Jazeera offices
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A ball of fire erupts from the Jala Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza cityGaza City: An Israeli air strike Saturday demolished the 13-floor building housing Qatar-based Al Jazeera television and American news agency The Associated Press in the Gaza Strip, AFP journalists said.Israel “destroyed Jala Tower in the Gaza Strip, which contains the Al Jazeera and other international press offices,” Al Jazeera said in a tweet, with an AP journalist saying the army had warned the tower’s owner ahead of the strike.Al Jazeera broadcast footage showing the building collapsing to the ground after the Israeli air strike, sending up a huge mushroom cloud of dust and debris.Jawad Mehdi, the owner of the Jala Tower, said an Israeli intelligence officer warned him he had just one hour to ensure the evacuation of the building.In a phone call with the officer, AFP heard him beg for an extra 10 minutes to allow journalists to retrieve their equipment before leaving.”Give us ten extra minutes,” he urged, but the officer on the other end of the line refused.Wael al-Dahdouh, Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Gaza told AFP: “It’s terrible, very sad, to target the Al Jazeera and other press bureaux”.Israel alleged its “fighter jets attacked a high-rise building which hosted military assets belonging to the military intelligence of the Hamas terror organisation”.”The building also hosted offices of civilian media outlets, which the Hamas terror group hides behind and uses as human shields,” it said.Israeli air and artillery strikes on Gaza since Monday have killed 139 people including 39 children, and wounded 1,000 more, health officials in the coastal enclave say.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Yes, the West Bank. Sirens were heard in the Arab cities of Taiybe and Qalansawe, inside Israel. A rocket landed as far as the town of Qabalan, a Palestinian town inside the West Bank. Also, a direct hit in a residential home inside Ramat Gan (near Tel Aviv), one civilian died.On this picture you can see the map of the target zones. On the left side, central Israel and Tel Aviv metropolitan area. On the upper side it is an area within the Triangle, near Taiybe, Qalansawe and Tira. Arab cities within Israel. On the right side, that is the West Bank, the Israeli settlements and Palestinian towns – Area A in control of the Palestinian Authority.
The Israeli army has clarified that it has not launched a ground invasion of Gaza, after inadvertently giving the impression that it had. The IDF has been bombing Gaza after Hamas launched a barrage of rockets at Israeli cities.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) clarified to AFP that its troops have not crossed into the Gaza Strip, blaming an “internal communication” error for the confusion. The Israeli army initially told the media that its soldiers were in the Palestinian enclave, but two hours later it sent a new statement saying there were “no soldiers” in Gaza, according to AFP.Israeli media also reported that the IDF had denied launching a ground invasion of Gaza after originally giving the impression that it had done so. “There are currently no troops in the Gaza Strip,” an IDF spokesperson was quoted as saying.The IDF said both air and ground forces had been used to strike multiple targets in Gaza that were linked to the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which have been firing rockets at Israeli cities. Some “160 aircraft, tanks, artillery and infantry units” were amassed along the Gazan border to participate in the operation against Hamas, the army said.The target: The Hamas ‘Metro’ tunnel system in Gaza. The operation: 160 aircraft, tanks, artillery and infantry units along the border.We struck 150 targets and damaged many kilometers of the Hamas ‘Metro’ network. pic.twitter.com/otn7JKxB9c— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 14, 2021Around 2,000 rockets have been launched from Gaza into southern and central Israel since Monday, the IDF said. Some of them were intercepted and destroyed mid-air by the Iron Dome air defense missile system, but others fell on residential areas, killing seven civilians and forcing many more to hide in bomb shelters. The Times of Israel, meanwhile, said the Israeli death toll has grown to nine, including a 50-year-old woman who died after being seriously injured while rushing to a shelter.On Friday, the IDF said three rockets were fired from Lebanon and fell into the Mediterranean Sea. Anti-Israel militant group Hezbollah and other small Palestinian groups are based in Lebanon.BREAKING: A short while ago, three rockets were fired from Lebanon into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of northern Israel.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 13, 2021Israel responded to the barrage from Gaza by dropping bombs on the enclave, which levelled several high-rise buildings and made large plumes of smoke rise above the densely populated city’s skyline. Although Israel says it only targets Hamas militants and their infrastructure, Gazan health officials reported that at least 119 Palestinians, including 27 children, were killed by IDF airstrikes.The cross-border escalation was followed by a wave of Arab-Israeli street violence and rioting in several cities with mixed Arab-Israeli populations. A state of emergency was declared in the city of Lod, 15km of Tel Aviv, on Tuesday night, after three synagogues and numerous shops were burnt down.According to Israeli media, another synagogue was set ablaze in Lod on Thursday night, and a 19-year-old Israeli soldier sustained a skull fracture and brain damage after being assaulted in Jaffa.The violence was preceded by tensions in East Jerusalem, which culminated in clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City.
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Unrest grips Israel and West Bank ahead of large scale demonstrations
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 90%. (I’m a bot)Israeli fighter jets hit targets in central Gaza overnight, the army said Saturday, after a day of deadly violence rocked the West Bank and unprecedented unrest persisted inside Israel.Despite intensifying diplomatic efforts to ease five days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, Israel’s air force struck several sites in the strip overnight, while rockets again tore towards the Jewish state.Overall Palestinian fatalities from strikes on Gaza have reached 126 – including 31 children – with 950 injured.Extended Summary | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: Israel#1 Gaza#2 Palestinian#3 Israeli#4 Hamas#5