Israeli attack on Gaza media building kills militant

GAZA Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:15am EST

Black smoke rises after an Israeli air strike in the central Gaza Strip towards Israel November 19, 2012. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

Black smoke rises after an Israeli air strike in the central Gaza Strip towards Israel November 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis

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GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli missiles blasted a Gaza tower block that houses many foreign journalists for a second straight day on Monday, killing two people including a militant the Islamic Jihad group said had been in charge of "media warfare" against Israel.

The attack, which medics said also wounded six other people, appeared to target a computer shop in the building and another office on its third floor.

Witnesses said it was hit by at least three missiles, which sent debris flying into the street below and set the shop ablaze.

The building also houses the offices of Britain's Sky News and Saudi-owned Al Arabiya Channel. Most journalists left the premises on Sunday following the initial strike.

Islamic Jihad issued a statement identifying one of those killed as a member named Ramaz Harab, saying he had been in charge of "media warfare" for the organization in Gaza city.

Israel's military said it had targeted a hideout used by militants involved in firing rockets at Israel, and that gunmen "were inside the building when it was targeted."

Israel accused Gaza militants of hiding among civilians, including journalists, to try and avoid attack.

"Senior Islamic Jihad terrorists hid in a media building in Gaza, using journalists working there as human shields." Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said in a message posted on the social media site, Twitter.

Israel said its attacks on Sunday at a nearby media building were pinpoint strikes on Hamas communication devices located on the buildings' roofs.

More than 90 Palestinians have died since Israel launched an air campaign last Wednesday with the stated aim of halting militant rocket fire out of the Palestinian enclave. Three Israelis died last Thursday in a rocket hit on their home.

(Reporting by Nidal Almughrabi and Noah Browning; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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