Following an intense barrage of Hamas rockets on central Israel on Saturday morning and afternoon, which killed one civilian, 51, in Ramat Gan, and inflicted a tremendous amount of damage on private homes, the IDF attacked the famous al Jalaa tower in Gaza City, which housed the headquarters of the Al-Jazeera network, the offices of the AP News Agency, and the headquarters of additional broadcasting outlets.
The IDF issued a statement saying the building contained “military assets belonging to the military intelligence of the Hamas terrorist organization,” and suggested that the offices of the civilian media were used by Hamas as human shields.
“Hamas deliberately locates its military assets in the heart of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.
The IDF further explained that before the attack, “the civilians who were in the building were warned and given sufficient time to evacuate the building.” Two “tap on the roof” missiles were fired at the building before it was attacked and crashed live in front of the whole world. In fact, after the warning, the building’s owner was captured on video arguing with an IDF officer in Arabic, bargaining for an extra ten minutes to evacuate the building, to which the Israeli officer answered that they had already had an hour to get out, what do they need another ten minutes for (see video below)?
Immediately after the attack, Hamas’ military wing threatened that “the citizens of Tel Aviv should await our response which will shake them.” The Islamic Jihad also threatened: “The continued aggression of the enemy will cause him to pay a high price.”
In reality, despite the unprecedented volleys of more than 2,000 rockets that have been shot at Israel’s civilian populations, there have been only six fatalities, four of whom did not have access to a bomb shelter, one, an elderly woman, tripped and received a fatal blow to her head on her way to the shelter, and one, a child, who was hit by shrapnel that entered in a freak angle through the window of his shelter.
AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt was very upset at the loss of his lease in Gaza City, and released this irate 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.”
So, not a single AP reporter was hurt in the operation, thank God.
A very entitled Pruitt sounded like the guy telling a policeman, “Do you know who I am?” when he continued: “We are seeking information from the Israeli government and are engaged with the US 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.”
It should be noted that Al Jazeera showed more class than AP Karen, and just continued its reports about Israeli atrocities against Arab children.
The White House said Saturday that the safety of reporters covering the Israeli strikes on Gaza “is a paramount responsibility.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone on Saturday evening with President Joe Biden. Netanyahu updated the president on the developments and actions that Israel has taken so far in the round of fighting with Hamas in Gaza and the actions that Israel intends to carry out in the coming days. It was Biden who called the Prime Minister, and the conversation between them was long and comprehensive.
The Prime Minister thanked the President for the unreserved support of the United States for the right of the State of Israel to defend itself and stressed that Israel is doing everything to avoid harming the uninvolved civilian population in Gaza. He told Biden that in the targeted towers in which terrorist assets are located, civilians receive ample warnings to evacuate before the attacks.
Biden also spoke Saturday evening with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, for the first time since Biden’s inauguration. The two talked about the latest developments and events in the area.
We don’t know if the chairman shared with the president how ecstatic he has been this week to see his mortal enemy, the Hamas, being whipped by Israel.