A large explosion has caused extensive damage at the Gaza City offices of an Arabic satellite television channel. The blast blew a hole through the wall of the building that Al Arabiya shares with local channel MBC and Reuters. The newsroom was empty at the time of the attack and there are no reports of injuries. No one has claimed responsibility but a spokesman for Al Arabiya spoke of anonymous threats:
“We had a clear threat that they were going to explode the office and they will kill some of the employees. So we had to take care for the lives and we had to close the office as an initiative to save those people’s lives.”, said Rahem Abdel Karim.
The channel was criticised recently by Hamas, who claimed it misquoted Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in a report. But Hamas spokesman Fauzi Barhum denied any involvement: “We condemn this type of violence. All the time we want to explain that we, in Hamas, are against this type of violence and this type of destruction.”
Palestinian journalists in Gaza said they would go on strike today in protest over the attack. An investigation into the explosion is underway.