Israel Yet To Show Hamas Evidence In Gaza Media Tower: United States | News from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he had seen no Israeli evidence of Hamas operating in the Gaza building that housed residences, offices and media organizations – including Al Jazeera and the Associated Press – that Israel destroy the Saturday.

Blinken said on Monday he called on Israel to justify the hit. The IDF, which gave journalists and other occupants of the building about an hour to evacuate, says Hamas used the building for a military intelligence office.

“Shortly after the strike, we asked for further details regarding the rationale for it,” Blinken said from Copenhagen, Denmark. He declined to discuss specific information, saying he “will leave it to others to determine whether any information has been shared and our assessment of that information.”

But he said, “I didn’t see any information provided.”

IDF spokesman Lt. Gen. Jonathan Conricus told CNN on Sunday: “We are in the midst of fighting. It is in progress and I am sure the information will be presented in due course. “

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would share any evidence of Hamas’s presence in the targeted building through intelligence channels. But neither the White House nor the State Department would say if a U.S. official saw it.

Blinken said Monday the United States was working around the clock to help end the violence, but gave few details.

“We do not stand in the way of diplomacy, on the contrary, we exercise it practically without interruption,” Blinken said at a press conference with the Danish foreign minister when asked why the United States had blocked a United Nations Security Council statement condemning Israel’s military response.

Washington, a strong ally of Israel, has been isolated at the UN over its objection to a public statement by the council because it fears it could hurt behind-the-scenes diplomacy.

Blinken said Israel had the right to defend itself, but was alarmed that journalists and medical staff had been put at risk, in particular, after Israel destroyed the Gaza Tower housing a number of media.

Calls for inquiries

Amnesty International and the media watchdog Reporters Without Borders request the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel’s bombing of the building housing media organizations as a possible war crime. In addition, the PA editor called for an independent US investigation into the attack.

Paris-based Reporters Without Borders, known by its French acronym RSF, said in a letter to the court’s attorney general that the offices of 23 international and local media had been destroyed in the past six days.

RSF said it has good reason to believe that the “intentional targeting of media organizations by the Israeli military and the intentional destruction of their equipment” could violate one of the court’s statutes. He said the attacks serve to “reduce, if not neutralize, the capacity of the media to inform the public”.

Saleh Hijazi, deputy regional director for Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, told Al Jazeera that Israel was trying to hide what it was doing in Gaza and from the people of Gaza, adding that Amnesty was prevented from entering the enclave since 2012..

“We now have an International Criminal Court investigation open into the situation in the Palestinian territories since 2014. We call on the ICC to look into this incident,” he said, referring to the bombing of international media offices by Israeli forces.

“Even if there is a legitimate military target there, it is disproportionate to attack a building in this way,” Hijazi added.

“Such a disproportionate attack amounts to a war crime. Furthermore, it follows a model of collective punishment against the Palestinian people in Gaza. “

PA editor-in-chief Sally Buzbee said the agency had offices in the al-Jalaa tower for 15 years and had never been informed or had no indication that Hamas might be. in the building. She said the facts must be exposed.

“We think it is appropriate at this point for there to be an independent look at what happened yesterday – an independent investigation,” she added.

Buzbee also expressed concern about the impact on media coverage.

“It impacts the world’s right to know what is going on on both sides of the conflict in real time,” she said.





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