Following Israel’s bombing of a building that contained several prominent media outlets, reports have surfaced indicating that the Israeli government informed the U.S. government of terrorist activity operating out of that very same building, the New York Post reports.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Joe Biden over the phone on Saturday, and reportedly shared with him the Israeli intelligence that led to their decision to destroy the building on Saturday. According to the Jerusalem Post, a source working with Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said that “we showed them the smoking gun proving Hamas worked out of that building. I understand they found the explanation satisfactory.”
This particular airstrike drew widespread attention and some criticism due to the nature of the target: The 12-story building, located in the Gaza Strip, housed the offices of several major media outlets, including the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera. The Israeli government issued an evacuation notice one hour before the building was razed.
Biden, in his phone call with Netanyahu, once again said that he believed in “Israel’s right to defend itself from rocket attacks against Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza,” a position that earned him backlash from the Democratic Party’s far-left wing, which has become increasingly anti-Israel in recent years.
Gary Pruitt, the CEO and President of the Associated Press, released a statement condemning the bombing as “shocking and horrifying,” and “an incredibly disturbing development.”
One of the most widely-documented tactics of the terrorist organization Hamas is their tendency to use civilian-occupied buildings as their bases of operations. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) issued a statement confirming that Hamas’ use of the building was them simply using the news agencies “as human shields,” and reiterating the fact that “the IDF warned the civilians who were in the building and gave them sufficient time to evacuate.”