The strike came about an hour after the Israeli military ordered people to evacuate on Saturday, May 15, according to reporting from The Associated Press. The building also housed other media offices and residential apartments.
The senior advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told NPR that Hamas military intelligence used the building, but provided “no evidence to back the claim,” according to NPR reporter Daniel Estrin.
The owner of a Gaza high-rise housing the AP and other media outlets says he has received a call from the Israeli military that the building would be targeted, The Associated Press reported. The man said he was told to make sure all residents were evacuated.
An hour later, the structure was flattened by airstrikes. With a U.S. envoy on ground, calls have increased for a cease-fire following five days of anarchy that have left at least 145 Palestinians dead in Gaza — including 41 children and 23 women — and eight dead on the Israeli side, all but one of them civilians, including a 5-year-old.
President Joe Biden called for a de-escalation but has backed Israel’s campaign. Biden spoke separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over the phone early this weekend.