Gunshots fired at Al Jazeera bureau in Gaza
Shots fired into Al Jazeera’s office in Gaza, a day after Israeli FM said Israel will work to close down the network.
Gunshots have been fired into Al Jazeera’s bureau in the Gaza Strip amid an intensified bombardment campaign on the Palestinian enclave.
The shots caused panic among the civilians living in the same building but no casualties were reported in the incident on Tuesday morning.
“Two very precise shots were fired straight into our building,” Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker, reporting from the bureau, said.
“We are high up in the building so we had a very strong vantage point over the area. But we have evacuated.
“Our office building also has many residential apartments. People [are] leaving, panicked.”
The bureau is situated in a residential area of Gaza City.
Al Jazeera response
The attack came a day after Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was quoted by local media as saying his country will work to close down Al Jazeera’s operations in Israel.
Al Jazeera “has abandoned even the perception of being a reliable news organisation and broadcasts from Gaza and to the world anti-Israel incitement, lies, and encouragement to the terrorists,” Lieberman said.
The network has been covering the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip that started on July 8.
In a statement issued by its lawyer Carter-Ruck, Al Jazeera said: “The sole purpose of those [Al Jazeera] journalists since the commencement of the current conflict has been to convey what is happening in Gaza to those outside that area and to do so without fear or favour.
“They are entitled to do this, as journalists, under international law and the Government of Israel has a duty, under international law, to provide them with protection and most certainly not to target them in the manner threatened by Mr Lieberman yesterday and put into effect today by Israeli soldiers.”
The death toll in Israel’s 14-day assault has climbed to more than 607 Palestinians, including dozens of women and children. More than 3,700 others have been injured.
On the Israeli side, 27 troops and two civilians have been killed.
On Tuesday, the Israeli army said one of its soldiers was missing in Gaza, local media said Sergeant Oron Shaul, 21, was presumed dead.