Hamas was using bombed Associated Press building to try and disrupt Iron Dome defence system
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Israeli military says media tower destroyed in airstrike used by Hamas to try and disrupt Iron Dome.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) issued a statement detailing Hamas’ terrorist activity at the al-Jalaa building in Gaza City that was toppled by an IDF airstrike on May 15 during Operation Guardian of the Walls.
The targeting of the structure generated significant controversy because the 11-story tower contained local offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera media organizations.
The IDF statement said that the target “was of high military value to Hamas,” who used the site for intelligence research and electronic warfare operations.
“One of the main goals of these efforts was to develop a system that would disrupt the Iron Dome aerial defense system,” the IDF said.
The IDF said that the strike was designed to collapse the building “in order to ensure the destruction of the special means” and that ample time was given for residents and office workers to evacuate the building, resulting in zero civilian casualties.
On Monday, Israel’s ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, paid a visit to the New York City headquarters of the Associated Press to explain to the news agency’s top executives why the IDF chose to target the tower, posting on Twitter that “the building housing their Gaza operation was being used by Hamas terrorists trying to jam the Iron Dome.”
“I reaffirmed that Israel upholds the importance of press freedom and strives to ensure the safety of journalists wherever they are reporting,” Erdan tweeted. “Israel is willing to assist AP in rebuilding its offices and operations in Gaza.”