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Gunshots Fired at Al Jazeera’s Gaza Bureau

al jazeera gunshotsJust one day after the Israeli foreign minister said he would try to prevent Al Jazeera from operating in Israel, the network says gunshots were fired at its Gaza bureau:

“Two very precise shots were fired straight into our building”, Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker (pictured), reporting from the bureau in Gaza said. “We are high up in the building so we had a very strong vantage point over the area. But we have evacuated.”

The bureau is situated in a residential area of Gaza City. “Our office building also has many residential apartments. People [are] leaving, panicked. The AP [news agency] also has office there and [has] evacuated.”

Dekker and another Al Jazeera journalist, Nicole Johnston, both referred to the shots as “warning shots” on Twitter.

Al Jazeera did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

>Update: “The foreign minister’s comments were a direct threat against us and appear to have been taken as a green light for the targeting of our journalists in Gaza. We hold the Israeli authorities fully responsible. They have put the lives of journalists in danger,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson said in a statement.

The full statement is after the jump.

“The foreign minister’s comments were a direct threat against us and appear to have been taken as a green light for the targeting of our journalists in Gaza. We hold the Israeli authorities fully responsible. They have put the lives of journalists in danger.

“Our journalists have been doing an outstanding job in reporting to our mass audience in the region what is happening on the ground.

“A threat to one is a threat to all, and this is a dark sign for all journalists operating in the territory. Journalists must be protected while doing their job of giving the public information they have the right to know, helping them understand what is going on. Journalism is not a crime!

“We assure our audience that we will continue reporting all aspects of the events taking place, with the utmost professionalism, with commitment to the human side of the story. We will go on covering what is happening taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of our crews.”

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