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International Federation of Journalists condemns Israeli shelling of al-Aqsa TV station

ISRAEL’S destruction of the al-Aqsa TV station in Gaza was condemned today by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which declared solidarity with its affiliate the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS).

The PJS condemned the attack as “a crime against all Palestinian media” and urged all Palestinian journalists “to show solidarity with the journalists of al-Aqsa TV.”

The IFJ “strongly condemns this latest violent attack targeting media conducted by Israeli forces and calls on Israel to stop the violence against all Palestinian media.

“We also show our solidarity with all Palestinian journalists, who every day work in dangerous conditions and face real dangers to cover the conflict in the region.”

Israeli aircraft first fired a “warning missile” at the multistorey building, allowing people to flee the site, before destroying it with additional missiles.

On Sunday night, Israeli warplanes killed six Palestinians pursuing an army unit that had staged an incursion into Gaza and assassinated a mid-level Hamas commander. One of the Israeli soldiers, an unnamed lieutenant-colonel, was also killed.

Once the assassination squad was back in Israel, their car was obliterated by an IDF rocket.

Hamas denounced the demolition of the al-Aqsa TV offices, which were previously bombed in December 2008.

“It reflects the enemy’s criminal mindset and is an attack on every free voice seeking to expose the enemy’s crimes, terrorism and violations at the expense of Gaza,” the group declared.

Hamas and other organisations fired dozens of rockets into southern Israel today, killing a Palestinian contract worker in a block of flats in Ashkelon.

The Israeli military said around 400 rockets and mortars had been launched from Gaza since yesterday afternoon, with about 100 intercepted by its Iron Dome missile defence system.

Hamas and other Palestinian resistance groups voiced their acceptance last night of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, but there was no immediate word from Israel on whether it had accepted the deal to halt the heaviest exchange of fire since 2014.

Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab said each side would promise quiet in exchange for quiet.

Just an hour before the Palestinian declaration, Israel’s security cabinet said it had ordered the military to “continue operations as needed,” following a six-hour meeting.

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