14:20 GMT16 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States has requested Israel to provide more information on the recent airstrike on a building in Gaza that housed international media outlets, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday.

    "As you know, [US] President [Joe] Biden and other members of the administration have raised directly our concerns with the Israeli counterparts ... Shortly after the strike, we did request additional details," Blinken said at a joint press conference with Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod.

    The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) bombed the 13-storey Jala Tower in Gaza, which housed offices of the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera TV channel, as well as residential apartments. Israel notified the owner of the building about the strike in advance so that those inside had enough time to evacuate. No injuries were reported as a result of the bombing, which has been condemned by the International Federation of Journalists. However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was absolutely justified because Hamas was allegedly using the building for military intelligence.

    The Jala Tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza City on 15 May 2021.
    © REUTERS / Mohammed Salem
    The Jala Tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza City on 15 May 2021.

    Blinken added that the US is ready to offer support to Israel and Gaza if they seek a ceasefire.

    "We call on all parties to ensure the protection of civilians, especially children, to respect international humanitarian law, to protect media facilities, protect media organizations and protect UN facilities where civilians are desperately seeking shelter. And we are ready to lend support if the parties seek a ceasefire," Blinken said.

    He went on to say that Washington has been working "intensively" to bring an end to the violence.

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