The Israel Defense Forces destroyed a 12-story building in Gaza housing The Associated Press, a US news service, during its recent war with Hamas because Hamas was using it for electronic warfare, including jamming Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
The residents of the al-Jalaa tower in Gaza City were given an hour’s notice to evacuate the building before an Israel’ airstrike on May 15.
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, met with AP executives on Monday to discuss the Israeli military decision to destroy the building. The AP has called for an independent investigation and says it saw no evidence that Hamas had a presence in the building.
“AP is one of the most important news agencies in the world and Israel does not suspect its employees were aware a covert Hamas unit was using the building in this way,” Erdan said in a statement. “I reaffirmed that Israel upholds the importance of press freedom and strives to ensure the safety of journalists wherever they are reporting. Israel is willing to assist AP in rebuilding its offices and operations in Gaza.”