AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt denied that the news organization knew Hamas was in the building. In a statement, he said:
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.
The Israeli government says the building contained Hamas military intelligence assets. We have called on the Israeli government to put forward the evidence. 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. This is something we actively check to the best of our ability. We would never knowingly put our journalists at risk.
We are seeking information from the Israeli government and are engaged with the U.S. State Department to try to learn more.
Israel struck the building as Hamas fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilian.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted: “After providing advance warning to civilians & time to evacuate, IDF fighter jets struck a multi-story building containing Hamas military intelligence assets. The building contained civilian media offices, which Hamas hides behind and deliberately uses as human shields.”
The Associated Press (AP) called the attack, which destroyed one of its offices, “shocking and horrifying.” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted: “We have communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility.”
We invite your comments below: