According to an Israeli General who conducted a probe on PR issues in connection to the conflict, the IDF’s May airstrike that demolished a Gaza building housing the offices for the Associated Press news agency was a mistake.
In Gaza City, the 12-story Al-Jalaa tower was torched on May 15, during an eleven-day standoff between Israel and Hamas. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the building that housed the offices of US news agency AP, Al Jazeera and other international media had been used by militants to disrupt the operations of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. The attack did not result in any deaths, although those who were inside were warned and allowed to evacuate. However, the tower was destroyed completely.
“Not everyone in the IDF believes this, but I am convinced that this was a mistake,”Nitzan alon, former IDF Operations head, led military investigations into IDF’s public relations management during the Gaza conflict.
“The operational benefit wasn’t worth the damage that it caused diplomatically and in terms of perception,” Nitzan insisted during a conference hosted by Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies on Sunday.
Bringing down the tower with the AP offices was equivalent to a self-inflicted ‘public relations terror attack’ and an own goal.
The Israeli attacks on Gaza’s densely populated Gaza have been widely condemned by the international community. However, after the AP Tower attack American legislators joined the chorus in condemning the Israeli actions.
Back then, US Senator Robert Menendez – described by the media as “one of the most pro-Israel lawmakers on Capitol Hill” – said that he was “deeply troubled by reports of Israeli military actions that resulted in the death of innocent civilians in Gaza as well as Israeli targeting of buildings housing international media outlets.”He demanded that those who are responsible be held accountable.
According to the White House, Joe Biden expressed concern over journalists’ safety in Gaza while speaking with Benjamin Netanyahu (then-Israeli Prime Minister) via phone.
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Israeli airstrike levels Gaza tower housing AP, Al Jazeera & other international media (VIDEO)
Nitzan admitted that in his comments to the Times of Israel newspaper, he acknowledged it. “IDF’s success in terms of public relations was very, very limited”Poor communication was a major problem throughout the entire Gaza conflict.
After the Al-Jalaa Tower was destroyed, Gary Pruitt, President and CEO of AP, stated that his company had been made redundant. “had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building.” He insisted that the IDF knew that AP’s bureau was located in the tower, adding that everybody in the agency was “shocked and horrified” by the attack. “The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today,”Pruitt observed.
Al Jazeera’s acting director-general Mostefa Souag slammed the Israeli bombing as a “war crime”This was what it was intended to accomplish. “silence the media and to hide the untold carnage and suffering of the people of Gaza.”
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UN chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by civilian casualties & IDF bombing of Gaza media building, dubbed ‘TERROR TOWER’ by Netanyahu
UN estimates that more than 250 Palestinians were killed in Gaza by the IDF’s fire on Hamas, with 66 of them children. 12 Israelis were among the casualties of the conflict. Two children died from rocket fire from Gaza.
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