Israeli air strikes hit media centres in Gaza City
Six injured as strikes target buildings housing media organisations including Sky News, al-Arabiya and al-Quds TV
Sunday 18 November 2012 05.14 EST GUARDIAN
Israeli military planes struck two media headquarters in Gaza City in the early hours of Sunday morning, injuring six people including a cameraman, who lost a leg.
A number of media organisations are based in the al-Shawa building, including al-Quds television, which is associated with Islamic Jihad. Khader al-Zahhar, a cameraman with al-Quds TV, had his leg amputated as a result of injuries sustained in the attack.
A second air strike struck another media complex in the city, the al-Shuruq building. It houses Sky News, the al-Arabiya news network, Dubai TV and an office of al-Aqsa TV, which is affiliated with Hamas.
Sky News reporter Sam Kiley was sleeping in the offices when the missile struck shortly before 7am. "The missile hit the floor above us. There was a big flash of light and the sound of breaking glass."
In a statement, the Israeli Defence Forces said: "A communications antenna used by Hamas to carry out terror activity against the state of Israel, was … targeted."
"The second site was targeted at approximately 6.50am and was also part of Hamas's operational communications that was deliberately located on the roof of the building, in which several international media bureaux reside.
"The IDF calls on international journalists and correspondents who operate in the Gaza Strip carrying out their duties, to stay clear of Hamas's bases and facilities – which serve them in their activity against the citizens of Israel."
The Palestinian death toll since the war began last Wednesday topped 50 after a night of sustained bombing. Seven civilians including five NEW children were killed in overnight bombing, a Gaza health official said. Two of the children were killed and 12 people injured when two houses were struck in northern Gaza.
Shells fired from Israeli gunboats positioned off the coast pummelled Gaza for an hour in the middle of the night, causing massive explosions.
There appeared to be a lull in rocket fire out of Gaza overnight, but air raid sirens sounded in Tel Aviv and Ashdod on Sunday morning. Israel's Channel 2 reported that rocket fire aimed at Tel Aviv was intercepted by an Iron Dome defence battery.
Israel opened the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow medical and humanitarian supplies into Gaza