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IDF destroys Hamas-run TV station headquarters in Gaza

An explosion as an Israeli airstrike has hit Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV station in the Gaza Strip, Monday, Nov. 12, 2018. The station went off the air after the airstrike. Minutes earlier, it had halted its programming and been broadcasting a still image of its lo
AP Photo/Adel Hana

An Israeli air strike destroyed Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV building in the Gaza Strip on Monday after a series of warning shots, AFP journalists reported, drawing threats of a harsh response from Palestinian militants.

Hamas confirmed that the building in Gaza City was destroyed, while Islamic Jihad vowed to respond to Israel's action.

The IDF confirmed it destroyed the multi-story offices of the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa television channel in the central Gaza Strip.

“This is an attack on a central government property for Hamas, which was conducted as part of additional attacks that the IDF carried out and as a response to the terror attack that the Hamas terror group is leading against Israeli citizens,” the IDF said.

The army said Al-Aqsa station was “used by [Hamas] for military activities, including sending messages to terrorist operatives in the West Bank, calls for terror attacks, and instructions on how to commit them.”

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

No injuries were immediately reported and workers were believed to have evacuated after the warning shots.

The station began broadcasting again a short while after the strike from an undisclosed location.

The United States classified the news outlet as a terrorist entity in 2010.

The channel broadcasts “incitement against the State of Israel and its citizens,” according to the IDF statement.

It said the station is "owned and operated by Hamas."

“The IDF is determined to fulfill its mission of defending Israeli citizens, and is prepared and ready for a variety of scenarios, as necessary,” it added.

The strike came as violence again flared between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza.

The IDF said an Israeli bus was hit by an anti-tank missile from the Gaza Strip, causing several injuries. A soldier was severely wounded, it said.AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Medics reported at least six other Israelis wounded with a number of houses and civilian buildings struck by rockets.

Joint statements from Palestinian militant groups in Gaza, including Hamas, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire and the missile attack on the bus, which it said was being used by Israeli soldiers.

They said the rocket fire was in revenge for the deadly Israeli operation late Sunday.

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