Israel strikes a Gaza building that hosts The A.P. and other news outlets.

A ball of fire erupts from a building housing various international media, including The Associated Press, after an Israeli airstrike on Saturday in Gaza City. AP staffers and other tenants safely evacuated the building after the Israeli military telephoned a warning that the strike was imminent. (Mahmud Hams/AP)
[ – 2021.05.15] The worst violence between Israelis and Palestinians in seven years intensified on Saturday as protests erupted again in the occupied West Bank and an Israeli airstrike destroyed a prominent high-rise building in Gaza City that housed media outlets including The Associated Press and Al Jazeera.

The Israel Defense Forces said its fighter jets struck the media tower because it also contained military assets belonging to Hamas. The I.D.F. said it had provided advance warning to civilians in the building to allow evacuation.

Gary Pruitt, the chief executive of the A.P., said he was “shocked and horrified” by the destruction of the building.

The Biden administration has “communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said on Twitter.

As fighting intensified and protests broke out anew in the West Bank, a senior American envoy, Hady Amr, arrived in Jerusalem to help broker a cease-fire.

But while Hamas and Israeli officials signaled late Friday that they were open to discussing a cease-fire, fighting continued unabated for much of Saturday.

An Israeli airstrike overnight killed at least 10 members of an extended family in a refugee camp in Gaza, after which Hamas militants aimed another round of rockets at Tel Aviv.

In Israel, the always-fraught notion of coexistence between Arabs and Jews seemed to be cracking amid the burning apartments and synagogues, the thrown stones and homemade bombs.

The crisis has pushed concerns about Israel’s political gridlock off the table and could benefit the shaky career of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while also giving momentum to Hamas.