clearn.png
Thursday September 23rd, 2021 7:21AM

Israeli official rolls back army chief comments on AP Gaza

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s defense minister on Monday distanced himself from comments made by his military chief after Israel bombed a Gaza Strip high-rise housing an Associated Press office and other news outlets, saying the remarks were not meant to be taken literally.

In an article published on the website of Channel 12 news over the weekend, the military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, was quoted as saying that “the building was destroyed justly” and he did not have a “gram of regret.”

The article claimed that the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza used various floors of the Jalaa Tower for “significant electronic warfare” meant to disrupt Israeli air force GPS communications.

The article then said Kohavi had told “a foreign source” that AP journalists drank coffee each morning in a cafeteria in the building’s entrance with Hamas electronics experts, whether they knew it or not.

The AP called the comments “ patently false,” noting that “there was not even a cafeteria in the building.”

Asked about Kohavi’s comments, Defense Minister Benny Gantz told foreign journalists that the military chief was only speaking in figurative terms.

“When the chief of staff talked about it, he was trying to portray the atmosphere, not the actual aspects," Gantz said.

Gantz again alleged that “there was Hamas infrastructure in offices that operated from this building.”

Asked to respond to Gantz's comments, the military spokesman's office also said Kohavi's statements were meant to be figurative.

“It was never claimed that AP journalists were knowingly interacting with Hamas personnel. On the contrary, due to the nature of Hamas' activities, AP journalists had no means of knowing that Hamas personnel were in the building,” it said.

“The chief of the general staff explained the possible circumstances of such an encounter where the terrorist organization Hamas embeds itself within the civilian population and uses civilian buildings for military purposes,” it said.

The Israeli army gave occupants of the building one hour to evacuate before the May 15 airstrike. No one was injured, but the high-rise was flattened into a pile of rubble.

The AP has said it had no indication of a Hamas presence in the building and was never warned of any possible presence before that day. It has called for an independent investigation and urged Israel to make public its intelligence.

Gantz said Israel has shared its intelligence with the U.S. government. But he indicated that Israel has no intention of making the information public, saying it did not want to divulge its sources.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Israeli official rolls back army chief comments on AP Gaza
Israel’s defense minister has distanced himself from comments made by his military chief after Israel bombed a Gaza Strip high-rise housing an Associated Press office and other news outlets
2:57AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Taylor's clutch hit caps 14-pitch at-bat, Dodgers deck Cards
Chris Taylor drove in three runs with a tiebreaking double that capped a 14-pitch at-bat in the sixth inning, rallying the Los Angeles Dodgers past the St. Louis Cardinals 9-4 to snap a three-game skid
2:41AM ( 22 minutes ago )
London school fights COVID fallout with laptops, bean bags
Schools across Britain are racing to offset the disruption caused by COVID-19, which has hit kids from low-income and ethnic minority families the hardest
2:23AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Australian court upholds ban on most international travel
An Australian court has rejected a challenge to the federal government’s draconian power to prevent most citizens from leaving the country so they don’t bring COVID-19 home
10:58PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: COVID-19 variants to be labeled as Greek letters
The World Health Organization is announcing a new nomenclature for the COVID-19 variants that were previously — and somewhat uncomfortably — known either by their technical letter-number codes or by the countries in which they first appeared
5:16PM ( 9 hours ago )
Mexico raids building project next to Teotihuacán pyramids
Mexico has sent in 250 National Guard troops and 60 police officers to seize a plot of land next to the pre-Hispanic ruins of Teotihuacan where authorities say bulldozers were destroying outlying parts of the archeological site
4:48PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP World News
Taylor's clutch hit caps 14-pitch at-bat, Dodgers deck Cards
Chris Taylor drove in three runs with a tiebreaking double that capped a 14-pitch at-bat in the sixth inning, rallying the Los Angeles Dodgers past the St. Louis Cardinals 9-4 to snap a three-game skid
2:41AM ( 23 minutes ago )
London school fights COVID fallout with laptops, bean bags
Schools across Britain are racing to offset the disruption caused by COVID-19, which has hit kids from low-income and ethnic minority families the hardest
2:23AM ( 41 minutes ago )
LEADING OFF: O's lose 14 straight, Blue Jays back in Buffalo
The Baltimore Orioles have lost 14 straight games, the worst skid in the majors since Houston dropped 15 in a row in 2013
2:21AM ( 43 minutes ago )
Le grand retour: Federer wins return to Paris, Slam action
Roger Federer has made a winning return to Grand Slam tennis after 16 months away
2:03AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Chinese city locks down 2 areas as cluster grows
China’s southern manufacturing hub of Guangzhou has locked down two neighborhoods after an additional 11 cases of COVID-19 were detected
1:17AM ( 1 hour ago )