Tel Aviv has shared “smoking gun” proof with Washington showing that Hamas was working inside Jala Tower, The Jerusalem Post has reported, citing an anonymous diplomatic source.
“I understand they found the explanation satisfactory,” the source added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu similarly told US media on Sunday that Israel had “shared” intelligence “with our American friends,” and suggested that Jala Tower was a “perfectly legit target” used by Hamas to 'plot and organise' “terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians.”
He added that the Israeli attack caused “no death whatsoever” because Israel warned its occupants to get out of the building before the strike were carried out.
Despite Netanyahu’s assurances, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that President Biden had requested “additional details” about the airstrike on the building – the fourth multi-story building attacked by Israel during its weeklong campaign – in his telephone conversation with Netanyahu. Blinken also indicated that he had seen “no evidence” that Hamas was operating inside the tower.
The International Federation of Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Reporters Without Borders condemned the strike on the tower. The Associated Press said it was “shocked and horrified” by the building’s destruction, and stressed the Israeli military had “long known the location of our bureau and knew journalists were there.” Al Jazeera similarly condemned the attack, saying it “views this as a clear act to stop journalists from conducting their sacred duty to inform the world and report events on the ground.”
WATCH: The owner of al-Jalaa tower pleads with an Israeli officer on live TV to let journalists collect their gear before he bombs it.— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) May 15, 2021
Moments later, Israeli air strikes demolish the #Gaza building that housed several international media offices, including #AlJazeera and MEE pic.twitter.com/Sf5PM3UN7P
The Jala Tower attack took place amid the ongoing exchange of rocket and missile fire between the Israeli military and Hamas in Gaza. The Palestinian militant group launched 150 rockets into Israel last Monday in response to the Israeli police presence at the Al-Aqsa Compound and East Jerusalem amid escalating violence between Jews and Palestinians over an expected Supreme Court ruling to kick Palestinian families out of their homes in the Holy City. By Monday, over 3,000 rockets had been launched from Gaza by Hamas and other militants. Israel has carried out hundreds of air and missile strikes into the enclave.