Journalists well know the risks of reporting first hand on armed conflict. Simply going about their daily assignments can put them in the line of fire, where combatants cannot fully guarantee their safety. That is the price they pay for independent reporting of hostilities and collateral damage to innocent civilians. However, attacks on targets in conflict zones known to house media are not so easily justified. A case in point is Israel’s bombing of a 12-storey building in Gaza City housing America’s Associated Press (AP) and Qatar-based Al-Jazeera. Occupants were given an hour’s warning by the Israeli military to evacuate the building before it collapsed. The incident is therefore not to be compared with the deaths of more than 200 people, including scores of women and children, in Israeli bombing during the latest conflict with Hamas militants who control Gaza, or the rain of rockets from Gaza that has taken Israeli lives. Nonetheless, the bombing of the building has attracted international condemnation, at a time when some of the narrative of the conflict is not running Israel’s way. Groups supporting freedom of the press accused the Israeli military, which claimed the building housed Hamas military intelligence, of trying to censor coverage of its offensive against Hamas militants. Israel’s version is not very convincing. An AP executive, who described the bombing as “shocking” and “horrifying”, said there was no evidence of Hamas’ presence in the building. If there were, Hamas agents surely would have got wind of the warning and escaped. Israeli air strike destroys Gaza building housing media outlets This only adds fuel to the suspicion about the real motive of such targeting. Notwithstanding the notice to evacuate, it was a very rare event that could set a dangerous precedent for combatants with a sense of injustice over perceptions of a conflict shaped by the media. A more positive note, in the worst violence between Israel and the Palestinians since their 2014 war, is an offer to host talks between them from China, in its role as chair of the Security Council. Foreign Minister Wang Yi again called for an immediate ceasefire. “We reaffirm our invitation to peacemakers from Palestine and Israel to come to China to open up dialogue, and we welcome negotiators from both sides to engage in direct talks in China,” he said.