Aljazeera and Associated Press bombed out by IDF in Gaza. A line too far.
The United States and Israel have together complicity in the IDF’s targeting, bombing and destruction of a combination media and residential 11-story building in Gaza city.
Before bombing Aljazeera and the Associated Press, the Israeli government cleared the bombing with the White House, according to two security sources close to the information, who are unhappy with the action.
A worker in the US State Department confirmed that it would be, “normal for Israel to warn but not get permission that it was about to conduct an attack” against a US/Israel common interest.
Most media outlets were not able to get all their equipment out of the building.
“We have communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a perfunctory tweet on Saturday.
AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt has released the following statement:
“We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza. They have long known the location of our bureau and knew journalists were there. We received a warning that the building would be hit.
“We are seeking information from the Israeli government and are engaged with the U.S. State Department to try to learn more.
“This is an incredibly disturbing development. We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life. A dozen AP journalists and freelancers were inside the building and thankfully we were able to evacuate them in time.
“The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today,” said Mr. Pruitt.
Israel’s military complained that a member of Hamas lived in the building and was conducting military operations, according to a source. Official statements describe the building therefore as a “military asset”.
An Aljazeera reporter, Safwat Al Kalhlout, said, “I have been working in this office for ten years and have never seen any kind of military or paramilitary aspect. In our building we have lots of families living together. We see each other very day going in and out of the office. This is an eleven floor building with the most advanced technology. If the Israelis think that someone from Hamas lived in an apartment they could have gone to the apartment and arrest them.”
A statement by Aljazeera on its website has been released as a brief story.
“Al Jazeera said today it would not be silenced, after an Israeli air strike on Gaza demolished the building housing the Qatar-based broadcaster as well as US news agency The Associated Press.”
“It is clear that those who are waging this war do not only want to spread destruction and death in Gaza, but also to silence media that are witnessing, documenting and reporting the truth of what is happening in Gaza,” said Walid al-Omari, Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem bureau chief.