Israeli airstrike destroys Gaza media building housing the offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera reports on the destruction of the Al-Jalaa tower in Gaza
Al Jazeera reports on the destruction of the Al-Jalaa tower in Gaza City.

  • Al-Jalaa tower housed the offices of several international media organizations.
  • Those in the office building were not given time to evacuate their equipment, according to Al Jazeera.
  • It was flattened by an Israeli airstrike about an hour after a warning was issued, the Associated Press reported.
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Al-Jalaa tower, home to the offices of several international news organizations, has been destroyed by an Israeli airstrike, the Associated Press reported.

The Gaza tower housed the offices of the Associated Press, Al Jazeera, and local media outlets, according to DW News.

Israeli forces warned those in the building about an hour before the attack that the army would target the high-rise building, according to the AP.

Those in the office were not given time to evacuate their equipment from the building, Al Jazeera producer Linah Alsaafin said.

“We ran down the stairs from the 11th floor and now looking at the building from afar, praying Israeli army would eventually retract,” the AP’s correspondent in Gaza, Fares Akram, wrote shortly after the warning was issued.

Videos of the airstrike show that the building was flattened almost immediately.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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Astonishing footage filmed by a plane passenger shows Hamas rockets being intercepted mid-air by Israel’s Iron Dome

iron dome missile interceptor
Israel’s Iron Dome intercepts rockets fired from Gaza in a clip recording on board an El Flight on May 13.

  • A passenger on board an El Al flight captured Israel’s missile-defense system in action.
  • The clip shows rockets, fired from Gaza, being intercepted mid-air.
  • Over 2000 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards Israel since Monday, the IDF said.
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A passenger on board a flight from Brussels to Tel Aviv captured Israel’s advanced missile-defense system intercepting rockets on early Thursday morning, a viral video shows.

The passenger filmed the Iron Dome in action from his window seat on El Al flight LY332, aviation website Simple Flying reported.

The El Al flight was diverted due to the rocket fire, entering a holding pattern above Nablus in the occupied West Bank, before safely landing in Ramon Airport near Eilat, Simple Flying said.

In the astonishing clip, the Iron Dome can be seen firing interceptors at incoming missiles above Tel Aviv. Each flash of light represents a successful interception.

The Israeli missile-defense system has blocked some 90% of rockets fired by Hamas, Insider’s Mia Jankowicz reported on Thursday.

The Iron Dome’s algorithm has recently been adapted to counter Hamas’ attempts to overwhelm the system with a barrage of rockets, experts told The Economist.

Some 2000 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards Israel, the Israel Defense Forces said on Saturday morning.

In response, Israeli fighter jets have hit targets in central Gaza. Palestinian fatalities from strikes on Gaza stand at more than 132, including 30 children, The Guardian reported. About 950 people have been injured, the paper added.

Eight people have died in Israel due to the rocket offensive, The Guardian said.

The region is facing its worst violence since the 50-day war in 2014, Insider reported.

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43 dead in Gaza and 5 in Israel amid riots, air strikes, and more than 1,000 rockets fired at cities

Fire billow from Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, Gaza.
Fire billows from Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, Gaza.

  • Forty-eight people have been reported dead overnight in escalating violence between Gaza and Israel.
  • Hamas launched volleys of rockets toward Tel Aviv, and Israel launched air strikes.
  • The scene shows the worst violence since the 2014 Gaza War.
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A total of 48 people in Israel and Gaza have died in intense overnight hostilities that saw hundreds of air strikes and more than 1,000 rockets fired.

Hamas launched volleys of rockets toward Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities overnight, triggering Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system.

Israel followed with air strikes, destroying a 12-story building housing Hamas offices, and heavily damaged a residential building that Israel said also held Hamas intelligence offices, the Associated Press reported.

An aerial view of a destroyed tower block by the coast in Gaza City, May 12 2021.
The remains of a building destroyed in Israeli air strikes in Gaza City on May 12, 2021.

Israeli authorities said they had killed several Hamas militant leaders in the strikes, Reuters reported.

As of early Wednesday, the Gaza Health Ministry said that 43 people in Gaza, including 13 children, had been killed in the strikes, Sky News reporter Mark Stone reported.

Five people in Israel, including three women and a child, were reported dead, according to the AP. Hundreds more have been wounded.

The Israeli city of Lod, located nine miles from Tel Aviv, has been put under a state of emergency after two nights of rioting by its population of Palestinian citizens of Israel, The Guardian reported.

A group of men outdoors in Gaza standing in prayer pose behind a trolley holding the shrouded body of a Palestinian.
People offer funeral prayers next to the body of a Palestinian, who was killed amid a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in Gaza City on May 12, 2021.

The violence had ratcheted against a backdrop of numerous tensions that started around the beginning of May, as Insider’s Joshua Zitser reported.

The Israeli Supreme Court has been deliberating over a plan to evict four Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, to make way for Jewish Israeli settlers.

The court’s verdict, due on May 10, was postponed amid protests and considerable international attention, The Times of Israel reported.

In another incident last Friday, more than 200 Palestinians were injured in Jerusalem, when Israeli police officers shot rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades inside the al-Aqsa mosque.

In a statement posted to social media early Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces said that its strikes had hit “significant terror targets” overnight, in its largest operation since the 2014 war with Hamas.

Tor Wennesland, a UN Middle East peace envoy, called for calm and described the situation on Twitter as “escalating towards a full scale war.”

The hostilities coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is due to culminate Wednesday evening with Eid al-Fitr, one of the most important celebrations in the religion’s calendar.

They also come ahead of what Palestinians calls Nakba – “Catastrophe” – Day on May 15, which annually commemorates the displacement of Palestinians upon the establishment of Israel in 1948.

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After a Jewish supremacist mob chanted ‘death to the Arabs’ in a night of violence in Jerusalem, Palestinian militants in Gaza bombarded Israel with rockets

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A fire burns in a dumpster as Israeli security forces disperse Palestinian protesters outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 23, 2021

  • Palestinian militants shot 36 rockets into Israel overnight.
  • Israel responded by launching strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
  • The fire exchange follows violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police in Jerusalem.
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Israeli jets and attack helicopters launched strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip following a night of rocket fire by Palestinian militants, the Associated Press reported.

Underground infrastructure and rocket launchers belonging to Hamas were destroyed in the targeted attack, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

The strikes were in response to some 36 rockets being fired into southern Israel overnight, AP said. Six of the three dozen rockets fired were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome Aerial Defense System, the IDF said on Twitter.

Some of the rockets fell in Israeli communities near the Strip and air-raid sirens blared throughout the night but no serious damage or injuries were reported, The Times of Israel said.

Read more: Israel leads the world in COVID-19 vaccinations. Here’s how.

Two militant groups in Gaza claimed responsibility for the rocket fire – Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, and the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades. Hamas did not take responsibility for the attacks, but Israel holds the enemy group accountable for all rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, AP reported.

The fire exchange comes as tensions reached a boiling point in Jerusalem on Thursday evening. The situation first escalated when Israeli police placed barricades outside the Damascus Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City – a popular nightly gathering point with local Palestinians after the end of the Ramadan fast.

Palestinian protesters gathered near the entrance and threw glass bottles and rocks at police, CNN reported. Israeli police responded by using stun grenades, rubber bullets, and water cannons in a bid to disperse the crowds, the media outlet said.

Around 100 Palestinians were injured, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Meanwhile, police blocked supporters of a far-right Jewish group, several hundred strong, as they marched through the Jerusalem streets towards the Damascus Gate. Some of the followers of the ‘Lehava’ group chanted “death to Arabs,” reported to CNN.

Lehava is an anti-Arab Jewish supremacist group, according to the Washington Post.

In the ensuing chaos, Israeli police clashed with both groups. In other incidents, Jewish youths attempted to set fire to a Palestinian family’s home and a Jewish motorist was beaten and his car set ablaze by a Palestinian mob.

Clashes in Jerusalem have occurred nightly throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, AP said.

The US Embassy in Jerusalem said in a Friday statement that it is “deeply concerned” about the violence over the last several days. “We hope all responsible voices will promote an end to incitement, a return to calm, and respect for the safety and dignity of everyone in Jerusalem,” it said.

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