Ambassador Gilad Erdan says Israel took out the building that housed AP offices because Hamas was working in the same building on tech to jam the Iron Dome defense system.
By World Israel News Staff
Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. and UN, Gilad Erdan, said Tuesday that Israel destroyed a building in Gaza housing foreign media because the Hamas terror group was working in the same building on technology to jam Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.
On May 15, in the midst of fighting sparked by the Hamas terror group in Gaza, the Israeli military warned Associated Press staffers and other tenants to evacuate a building housing AP offices, informing them that a strike was imminent within an hour. Three heavy missiles struck the 12-story building, collapsing it in a giant cloud of dust.
Erdan tweeted that he met AP CEO Gary Pruitt and senior executives at the news service’s New York headquarters on Monday to explain the reasons Israel took out the building. There were no deaths or injuries reported in the attack as Israel had given all residents advance notice to evacuate.
“The building housing their Gaza operation was being used by Hamas terrorists trying to jam the Iron Dome – that is why it was prioritized by the IDF during last month’s operation,” Erdan tweeted.
“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. “Israel did everything to ensure no employees or civilians were hurt during this operation.”
“In contrast,” Erdan said, “Hamas is a genocidal terrorist organization that purposely places its terror machine in civilian areas, including in buildings being used by international media outlets.”
“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,” Erdan said.
After the attack last month, Pruitt released a statement saying AP was “shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza.”
Pruitt demanded that Israel “put forward the evidence” showing the Hamas activities because he said the “AP’s bureau has been in this building for 15 years. We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building.”