The world’s largest news service has found itself in the headlines after claiming it was totally dumbfounded it shared office space with rocket-firing Hamas military leaders in a building that has been reduced to rubble by Israeli Defense Forces.
Reacting to the bombing, the president of The Associated Press said he was personally “shocked and horrified” the Israeli military targeted and destroyed the 12-story high rise building in which journalists from several news agencies covered Middle East news.
“We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building,” the AP president, Gary Pruitt, said.
The bombed building, which was hit by an Israeli airstrike, came after the IDF alerted civilians the building was coming down, a common tactic used by Israel to minimize civilian casualties while targeting Hamas and its leaders. Despite that heads-up, some journalists claimed they were “lucky” to escape the bombing without being killed.
“No, you weren't lucky to get out. It wasn't luck,” countered Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister. “It's because we took special pains to call people in those buildings to make sure that the premises were vacated.”
Pruitt, the AP president, is also claiming the news service was unaware the area is known for Hamas militants firing rockets toward Israel, but some observant people have pointed to a 2014 story in The Atlantic in which a journalist in the region describes the cozy relationship between Hamas and reporters employed by The Associated Press.
Pentagon analyst Bob Maginnis tells One News Now it is next to impossible for a reporter to be unaware that artillery is being launched nearby.
“I've fired many thousands of artillery pieces -- mortars, rockets -- all over the world,” he says, “and you can't be anywhere close to one of those and not know what's happening.”
According to the Atlantic story, Hamas leaders considered sympathetic news reporters as one of their “assets” in the region when they were preparing to fight Israel’s military during the summer of 2014.
"The AP staff in Gaza City would witness a rocket launch right beside their office, endangering reporters and other civilians nearby — and the AP wouldn’t report it,” the journalist, Matti Friedman, wrote at the time.
Israel’s military, which is famous for knowing its enemies and their daily movements in the region, has told the media it shared “smoking gun” evidence with the Biden administration that Hamas was using the building as a military intelligence post to plan attacks on civilians.
Noah Pollack, a Jewish reporter with Breitbart, has IDF contacts in Israel and has said the IDF knew Hamas was manufacturing weapons in the building, too. The building also housed an Islamic Jihad office, too, the IDF claims.