Israel says Gaza tower that housed AP doubled as Hamas electronic warfare site
The IDF said on Tuesday that a tower in Gaza housing the U.S. Associated Press, destroyed in an Israeli airstrike, was also being used by Islamist leaders in the enclave, Hamas, as a site for electronic warfare. .
Israel’s destruction of the 12-story tower, which also housed the Qatar-based media group Al Jazeera, during last month’s fighting with Hamas and other militants drew international condemnation and calls from the main ally of Israel. ‘Israel, the United States, to protect journalists. Read more
The al-Jalaa building in Gaza City was evacuated after its owner received advance warning of the May 15 strike. But the PA says it has received no evidence of a threatening Hamas presence and has called for an independent investigation.
PA leaders met with Israel’s Ambassador to Washington and the United Nations Gilad Erdan on Monday to discuss the destruction of the building.
“The Israeli authorities claim that the building housing our office was destroyed due to a Hamas presence which posed an urgent threat. We have not yet received any evidence to support these claims, ”the AP said in a statement.
“AP continues to call for full disclosure of all evidence available to the Israelis so that the facts are public.”
In a statement, Erdan reiterated an Israeli claim that the building housed Hamas’s military intelligence service, saying its staff there “were developing an electronic jamming system to be used against the Iron Dome defense system.”
Israeli Iron Dome interceptors brought down most of the more than 4,300 rocket hits from Gaza during the 11 days of conflict, in which Israeli airstrikes and rocket fire in Gaza killed more than 250 Palestinians and 13 in Israel.
The IDF said the purpose of the strike “was to reduce such enemy capabilities, including the destruction of special equipment and prevent their use during the operation … The strike was designed to collapse the building. in order to ensure the destruction of special means. “
Erdan said Israel had done everything possible to avoid harm to civilians.
“AP is one of the most important news agencies in the world and Israel doesn’t think the AP employees knew that it was being cynically used in this way by Hamas for a secret unit,” he said. declared.
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