Israel fires "warning shots" into Al Jazeera office in Gaza
Published Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Israeli forces on Tuesday fired "warning shots" at a building housing the offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press, one day after Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed to shut down the Qatar-based channel.
"Two warning shots straight into al jazeera office in #gaza.. We are evacuating," Al Jazeera journalist Stefanie Dekker tweeted Tuesday.
She said the Gaza City building also houses several residential apartments and an AP office.
Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Wael Dahdouh also reported on the attack. He said some of the staff were asleep during the attack when two explosions went off inside the bureau, causing panic.
He said the shots may have come from a tank or helicopters. Their office is located on the 11th floor of the Jalaa building.
He said the attack appeared deliberate, and noted that only their office was hit.
Al Jazeera aired footage of their staff standing outside the building.
"Al Jazeera network considers statements made against it by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman a direct incitement," a statement posted to Al Jazeera's website said.
Lieberman on Monday accused Al Jazeera of being a mouthpiece for Hamas, and said the ministry was taking steps to prevent it from broadcasting from the territory, according to an Israeli media report.
Channel 2 quoted Lieberman as saying that the channel promotes "antisemitism" and "encourages" terrorism.
Lieberman has also been calling in private meetings for Israel to assassinate Hamas political leader Khaled Meshal, who currently lives in Qatar, the Channel 2 report said.
Tuesdya's attack is not the first time journalists have been targeted by Israel since the assault on Gaza began two weeks ago.
Journalist Khaled Hamad, 25, was killed by Israeli shelling early on Sunday while covering Israel’s attack on al-Shujayeh. A total of 74 people were killed in that massacre. Most of the victims were women, children and elders, medics said.
Hamad, who was reportedly wearing a vest marked “press,” was killed alongside medic Fouad Jaber, 28, according to Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.
Gaza journalists condemned Hamad’s killing in a statement released Sunday. According to the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, Israeli fire injured a second journalist while Israeli shelling struck the home of a third.
On July 9 Hamid Shihab, a driver for a news agency, was killed when Israel bombed the car he was driving. Photographs posted to Twitter showed the car was marked “TV” with large, red letters.
Several other journalists have also been injured in other Israeli attacks widely viewed as deliberate.