The CEO of the Associated Press (AP) lashed out at Israel for bombing a building that housed the AP's offices in Gaza, but a key fact has been ignored in much of the reporting. Israel reports the building also housed the Hamas terrorist group's headquarters for the area.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday morning, "An intelligence office for the Palestinian terrorist organization (was) housed in that building that plots and organizes the terror attacks against Israeli civilians."
AP's CEO G.R. Pruitt questioned that, writing, "The Israeli government says the building contained Hamas military intelligence assets. We have called on the Israeli government to put forward the evidence."
But Netanyahu said any building used by Hamas "is a perfectly legitimate target. I can tell you that we took every precaution to make sure that there were no civilian injuries, in fact, no deaths."
Barry Shaw International Public Diplomacy Director with the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies was also quick to respond with an open letter to AP. He also wants supporters of Israel to do the same and let AP know their bias against Israel is unacceptable.
Below is the letter he wrote to G.R. Pruitt, Associated Press CEO (email@example.com).
Dear Mr Pruitt,
I was staggered to read your criticism of Israel for destroying a building which housed Hamas military intelligence offices, as well as their military intelligence development offices.
Your statement read, "We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy a building housing AP's bureau and other news organizations in Gaza."
The question is really why you and other news organizations are paying rent, and being hosted by, an internationally designated Islamic terror organization?
Your criticism came at a particularly hurtful time as our Defense Forces were defending us from an unprovoked onslaught of over three thousand rockets coordinated out of the building that your company occupied.
I am sure you are familiar with the laws of warfare. Accepting the fact that Hamas had initiated a prolonged, one-sided, missile war, a clear international war crime, the building you occupied had become a legitimate military target.
Nowhere in your anti-Israel protest did you mention this fact. Neither did you acknowledge that the IDF had given the occupants of the building, including our Hamas enemy by the way, sufficient warning and time to vacate the property prior to attack.
To be honest, we Israelis did not expect honesty from the foreign media. This virtue has been missing in action in past bloody encounters we have had with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. And we were not surprised by the bias of AP.
My advice to you, and to all foreign media, is not to rent office space from a terrorist organization in the future.
International Public Diplomacy Director, Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.