No one in Israel is crying over Hamas’ spilt milk, or that of the mainstream media. Still, there were questions as to why during last month’s Gaza war the IDF chose to bring down a Gaza City high-rise housing the likes of the Associated Press.
The IDF certainly knew that doing so would fuel international condemnation of and incitement against the Jewish state. But Israel deemed the price acceptable in order to destroy what it had determined was an important military target.
On Tuesday, Gilad Erdan, who currently serves as Israel’s ambassador to both the United States and the United Nations, visited the AP headquarters in New York to explain the matter to the news organization’s top executives.
The building that was bombed housed Hamas’ military intelligence offices, the research and technological development department, and technological systems that enabled terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens.
It’s hard to imagine how one of the world’s foremost news-gathering agencies was unaware of this.
Just a day after the IDF brought down the building in a targeted strike, the head of the AP bureau in Gaza appeared on the BBC and admitted that this particular tower was the best from which to get a clear line of sight in any direction. And that is the reason both for its use by Hamas and its being deemed a primary target by Israel.
A day after the strike I was interviewed at @BBC World Radio. Head of @AP Gaza spoke before me and let it slip that this was the best building in all of Gaza to see in any direction, and why the press was there. Although I had no information of my own, I found that very telling. https://t.co/hSKyoofdI1
— Dr. Einat Wilf (@EinatWilf) June 8, 2021
In addition to office space, Hamas was using this building in its attempt to jam Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, which had been thwarting the terrorists’ efforts to kill more Israelis.
The Iron Dome relies on an advanced radar system to quickly determine the flight path of enemy rockets and intercept those expected to hit civilian areas. Disrupting that system would have resulted in more Israeli casualties, which would have necessitated a harsher IDF response, thus escalating and prolonging the war.
The AP and anyone else claiming concern over the situation in Gaza should be thanking Israel for thwarting this Hamas scheme.
But Erdan’s visit to the AP headquarters on Tuesday was more about smoothing out relations between the news agency and the Jewish state.
“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,” he stated Tuesday.
He further stressed that Israel “did everything” to ensure no employees or civilians were hurt during this operation.
“In contrast, Hamas is a genocidal terrorist organization that purposely places its terror machine in civilian areas, including in buildings being used by international media outlets,” he pointed out.
Erdan further “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.”