An Israeli airstrike has hit Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV station in the Gaza Strip.
The station went off the air after the airstrike. Minutes earlier, it had halted its programming and was broadcasting a still image of its logo after the building was hit by a warning missile.
Shortly after, three loud explosions were heard and the screen turned black.
Witnesses say the blast destroyed the entire building, and explosions illuminated the night sky.
Workers evacuated the building after the warning shots. It was not clear whether there were any casualties.
Meanwhile, IDF Spokesperson Brigadier General Ronen Manelis issued a warning: “Hamas is leading the Gaza Strip to destruction and will feel the intensity of the IDF’s response in the coming hours. So far we have attacked a wide range of targets. Firing cells, military compounds, and observation posts. The attempt to harm civilians is unacceptable to us and we will continue to respond with force.”
Following a four-hour meeting held by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and senior defense officials, decisions were taken to give the go-ahead to a major military operation against Hamas and Islamic Jihad, according to media reports.