Video Shows Moment Airstrike Destroys AP, Al Jazeera Office Building in Gaza

An Israeli airstrike destroyed a building in Gaza housing the offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press on Saturday.

Though their office was destroyed, Al Jazeera managed to capture the moment on video and shared it via social media. The Qatar-based news outlet has been reporting on conditions in Gaza since airstrikes began on Monday.

Israel had warned those in the Jala Tower that the structure would be hit about an hour before the airstrike, according to Al Jazeera producer Linah AlSaafin, and it was evacuated.

⭕ LIVE footage of the moment an Israeli air raid bombed the offices of Al Jazeera and The Associated Press in Gaza City ⬇️

🔴 LIVE updates: https://t.co/RvtP1lEX1x pic.twitter.com/RBO1ZiDAl0

— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) May 15, 2021

The Al Jazeera English Twitter account shared video of the scene, calling it "the moment an Israeli air raid bombed the offices of Al Jazeera and The Associated Press in Gaza City."

"This channel will not be silenced. Al-Jazeera will not be silenced," said an on-air anchorwoman for Al Jazeera English. "We can guarantee you that right now," she added, according to AP. The building collapsed in a large cloud of dust.

Al Jazeera correspondent Safwat al-Kahlout reacted to the destruction of the building in comments published on the network's liveblog covering the ongoing events in Gaza.

"I have been working here for 11 years. I have been covering many events from this building, we have lived personal professional experiences now everything, in two seconds, just vanished," al-Kahlout said.

"All my colleagues, despite the sadness, they didn't stop a second – they were looking for an alternative just to keep Al Jazeera on top of the news," he said.

The latest escalation in violence began as a legal battle over attempts to evict several Palestinian families from buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Israeli officials describe it as a private real estate dispute between Jewish owners and Palestinian tenants or squatters that is being resolved in the Israeli courts.

Palestinian leaders and their supporters around the world view the expected evictions as a symbol of the wider Israeli strategy of building Jewish settlements on land Palestinians want for a state.

Newsweek has asked Al Jazeera and the Associated Press for comment.

Smoke Rises from Gaza's Jala Tower
A thick column of smoke rises from the Jala Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza city controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement, on May 15, 2021. The offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press were located in the building. MAHMUD HAMS / AFP/Getty Images