Israeli Airstrike Hits French Journalists’ Office in Gaza

Israeli Airstrike Hits French Journalists' Office in Gaza

In third strike in three days, Israel said it was targeting Hamas officials in the building housing the Agence France-Presse office

For the third time in three days, Israel struck a building housing international journalists, bombing an office of the French wire service Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.

The Israel Defense Force said on Twitter that it was aiming for a Hamas operations center in the building and warned journalists to "stay away" from Palestinian militants, whom it said use reporters as human shields.

Reporters inside said no one from the agency was wounded. "The building housing offices in have been hit in an apparent strike," wrote Sara Hussein. "Our staff are fortunately all safe, myself included."

Also read: Journalists Wounded in Israel Bombing in Gaza

Abigail Hauslohner, Cairo bureau chief for the Washington Post who is reporting from Gaza, called the Israeli Defense Force's Twitter warning a "threat."

"Nothing like a good threat before bed," she wrote. She then tweeted the Israeli Defense Forces account, "Seriously, if Hamas is in room 208 (I'm in 209), tell me now."

The BBC Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar called the attacks unprecedented, saying he had never seen journalists targeted so "deliberately."

"I don't think I have ever been in a conflict where so many media buildings were deliberately targeted by a government ," he wrote.

On Sunday, eight journalists were wounded when Israeli missiles struck a building housing broadcast reporters from Germany, the U.K., Lebanon and other countries.

The day after that attack, an Al Jazeera English host sparred with Israeli spokesman Mark Regev, who cast doubts on the legitimacy of the Palestinian reporters working for Hamas-funded outlets like al-Aqsa, saying they are propagandists.

Early Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that two al-Aqsa reporters and one Palestinian radio reporter were killed in an air strike.