JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s protection minister on Monday distanced himself from feedback made by his army chief after Israel bombed a Gaza Strip high-rise housing an Related Press workplace and different information shops, saying the remarks weren’t meant to be taken actually.
In an article revealed on the web site of Channel 12 information over the weekend, the army chief of employees, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, was quoted as saying that “the constructing was destroyed justly” and he didn’t have a “gram of remorse.”
The article claimed that the Hamas militant group that guidelines Gaza used numerous flooring of the Jalaa Tower for “vital digital warfare” meant to disrupt Israeli air pressure GPS communications.
The article then mentioned Kohavi had instructed “a international supply” that AP journalists drank espresso every morning in a cafeteria within the constructing’s entrance with Hamas electronics consultants, whether or not they knew it or not.
The AP known as the feedback “ patently false,” noting that “there was not even a cafeteria within the constructing.”
Requested about Kohavi’s feedback, Protection Minister Benny Gantz instructed international journalists that the army chief was solely talking in figurative phrases.
“When the chief of employees talked about it, he was making an attempt to painting the environment, not the precise features,” Gantz mentioned.
Gantz once more alleged that “there was Hamas infrastructure in workplaces that operated from this constructing.”
Requested to answer Gantz’s feedback, the army spokesman’s workplace additionally mentioned Kohavi’s statements have been meant to be figurative.
“It was by no means claimed that AP journalists have been knowingly interacting with Hamas personnel. Quite the opposite, as a result of nature of Hamas’ actions, AP journalists had no technique of understanding that Hamas personnel have been within the constructing,” it mentioned.
“The chief of the overall employees defined the doable circumstances of such an encounter the place the terrorist group Hamas embeds itself throughout the civilian inhabitants and makes use of civilian buildings for army functions,” it mentioned.
The Israeli military gave occupants of the constructing one hour to evacuate earlier than the Might 15 airstrike. Nobody was injured, however the high-rise was flattened right into a pile of rubble.
The AP has mentioned it had no indication of a Hamas presence within the constructing and was by no means warned of any doable presence earlier than that day. It has known as for an unbiased investigation and urged Israel to make public its intelligence.
Gantz mentioned Israel has shared its intelligence with the U.S. authorities. However he indicated that Israel has no intention of creating the knowledge public, saying it didn’t wish to expose its sources.