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International Press Institute slams Israeli airstrike on Gaza media house

An international network of journalists and media executives “vehemently” condemn the Israeli airstrike on a Gaza City building housing the offices of The Associated Press and broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

Barbara Trionfi, the executive director of the International Press Institute, said after Saturday’s airstrike that “the targeting of news organizations is completely unacceptable, even during an armed conflict.”

She added that “it represents a gross violation of human rights and internationally agreed norms.”

Three heavy missiles struck and destroyed the 12-story building about an hour after the Israeli military telephoned the owner to warn a strike was imminent. AP staffers and other tenants safely evacuated the building, which also contained residential apartments.

AP Vice President and Editor at Large John Daniszewski, who chairs IPI’s North American Committee and is special envoy for journalist safety, said “there is no doubt that Israeli forces were aware that the media offices would be destroyed.”

The Israeli military said the militant group Hamas was operating inside the building, but it provided no evidence to back up the claim.

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