Gaza | Jagran News Desk: A former Associated Press (AP) editor has reiterated the claim made by Israel Defence Forces (IDF) that a building in Gaza that housed international media houses – The Associated Press, Al Jazeera and other media outlets – also had Hamas offices. The high-rise building, called al-Jalaa tower, was targeted by Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in an airstrike on May 15.

Matti Friedman, a former Editor at AP’s Jerusalem bureau between 2006 to 2011, who is now an op-ed contributor for the New York Times, wrote in a tweet that a source told him that there was actionable intelligence available to establish Hamas’ presence in al-Jalaa tower.

“I take army statements like I take foreign press reports – with several grains of salt,” Friedman wrote. “But a conversation with a friend who is intimately familiar with military decision-making right now suggests there were indeed Hamas offices there,” he added.

The Associated Press in a statement had said that it had “no indication” that Hamas militants operated out of the building which the Israeli forces destroyed Saturday.

The militant group too, in a statement to The Intercept denied the use of the destroyed building for anti-Israel operations. “Hamas did not have any military or intelligence operations in Al-Jalaa Tower,” its spokesperson was quoted as saying by the e-bay owned media platform.

Building a perfectly legitimate target: Israeli PM Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the al-Jalaa building a “perfectly legitimate target” in an interview to CBS News. There were no injuries in the strike, following an advanced warning from the Israeli military to the people inside.

Freidman connected AP with Hamas earlier too.

In a 2014 essay published in The Atlantic, Friedman accused the Associated Press covering the Israel-Palestine conflict of deliberately ignoring the Hamas rocket attacks being carried out from nearby its office in Gaza. Friedman, however, then fell short of accusing that the Hamas had offices in AP’s building itself.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma