‘Stunned’: AP Draws Flak After Israel Levels Gaza Bureau, Alleged Hamas HQ

AP Hamas HQ
Israel Defense Forces

Associated Press (AP) Washington Bureau Chief Julie Pace announced she was “stunned” after Israeli forces bombed a Gaza building housing media offices. Jerusalem claimed it was also a terrorist headquarters, housing Hamas’ military intelligence and research and development unit as well as offices of the terrorist-designated Islamic Jihad.

“So stunned,” Pace wrote on Saturday. “Our @AP bureau in Gaza has been destroyed by an Israeli airstrike.”

Noting Hamas is a terrorist organization which uses civilian infrastructure to commit terror, many took to Twitter to declare how Pace’s astonishment “stunned” them.

“I’m more stunned you were willing to put your office at the building of the terror organization Hamas intelligence hq, and use as a human shield for them!” wrote Yair Netanyahu, son of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Michael Doran, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, posting a video of the Israeli strike on the Gaza tower, wrote “Hamas was using the AP and Al-Jazeera as human shields. Those reporters should do some reporting on what their presence was protecting.”

“The building housed Hamas intelligence,” wrote conservative writer David Horowitz.

“WTF was your @AP bureau doing in a building the house Nazi terrorist intelligence services? [sic]” he added.

“More ‘stunning’ is that the building management/owner is directly linked to Hamas through the government of Qatar, a major financial backer of the terror group,” wrote television personality Eric Bolling. 

“However… Most ‘stunning’ is that @AP didn’t mention that in your statement,” he added.

“Americans are stunned that the AP’s landlord is linked to Hamas,” wrote former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.

“The @AP pays rent to the anonymous owner of the high rise that housed terrorists,” he continued. “Why is @jpaceDC and the AP hiding the name of the owner of a front company for Hamas?”

“Release the name,” he added. “It’s a crime to give money to Hamas linked individuals.”

“The story here isn’t you being shocked and appalled,” wrote journalist Jordan Schachtel. “The story is that AP decided to rent office space from a U.S. designated terrorist organization.”

“Who was your landlord?” asked Director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute (TAI) Daniel Schwammenthal.

“Where will the propaganda come from now!” wrote political commentator Joey Jones.

“The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] says that the building housing the AP and other outlets also ‘contained Hamas military intelligence assets,’” wrote journalist Jerry Dunleavy. 

“Is the IDF right or wrong about this? Seems relevant.”

“Why was the @AP sharing office space with terrorists?” asked radio host Derek Hunter, after mocking the hypocrisy of critics.

“No one believes that Israel targeted AP,” said political strategist Arthur Schwartz. “Who were you sharing space with and who were you paying rent to?”

“They didn’t narrowly avoid anything — they were warned in advance by IDF,” he added. “Now ask AP why they were sharing office space with Hamas.”

“Julie’s dilemma: ‘Do we admit we knew we were in the same building as Hamas, or do we try to explain why so many allegedly insightful journalists missed what was literally right under our noses?’” wrote author Joel Engel.

“The @AP insists that it had ‘no indication’ that it was sharing its Gaza headquarters with Hamas,” wrote journalist Dovid Efune.

“These are journalists we’re talking about. Hard-nosed journalists,” he added. “I’m not sure how anyone’s supposed to trust their reporting from the region again.”

“The @IDF‘s targeting of a building housing @AP and @AlJazeera says far more about the cozy relationship that exists between international media outlets in Gaza and Hamas than it does about Israel’s commitment to press freedom,” Efune wrote in another tweet.

“Why exactly does the @AP even *have* a bureau in a territory run by an internationally recognized terrorist group?” asked syndicated columnist Josh Hammer.

“Why is no one asking why AJE and AP were in the same building as Hamas?” asked political commentator Ian Miles Cheong.

“LEFTIST PROPAGANDISTS  at  AP  &  AL JAZEERA shocked that ISRAEL  Blew up their PROPAGANDA headquarters in GAZA (embedded in a housing complex),” wrote longtime radio host Michael Savage.

Quoting an essay from the Atlantic which describes reporters of the Middle East conflict as having “ceased to be reliable observers,” having instead become “an amplifier for the propaganda of one of the most intolerant and aggressive forces on earth,” conservative journalist Andy Ngô noted the reality of the media’s relationship with Hamas.

“‘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,’” he wrote. “2014 report on the close, undisclosed relationship between Hamas & international media.”

Donald Trump Jr., former President Donald Trump’s eldest son, posted an image mocking the supposed obliviousness of AP reporters in Gaza.

“Not surprising that the AP reporters knew about this because they’ve got many Hamas sources,” wrote Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “What is surprising is that they did nothing about it.”

“Time to investigate why @AP @AlJazeera & other media outlets picked a Hamas military base as their offices in Gaza,” wrote Hen Mazzig, senior fellow at the Tel Aviv Institute. “This is a war crime they must be held accountable for.”

Israel struck the Jala Tower as Hamas fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilian targets on Saturday. Many were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, but at least one Israeli died near Tel Aviv.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted: “After providing advance warning to civilians & time to evacuate, IDF fighter jets struck a multi-story building containing Hamas military intelligence assets. The building contained civilian media offices, which Hamas hides behind and deliberately uses as human shields.”

No journalists were apparently harmed in the attack, other than the apparent loss of valuable equipment and archives.

IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman released a statement detailing terrorist assets in the complex, including a Hamas research and development unit and military intelligence, as well as offices of the Islamic Jihad terror group.

“[Hamas] are firing wherever they want, on a civilian population, on cities that have tens and hundreds of thousands of people,” he said. “Think for a second about all the people you mentioned, imagine what they would say if one rocket — one! — were fired at Washington.”

“If Hamas and the Islamic Jihad think that the media are their shield, then in the next operation in Gaza, we’ll find that media outlets’ offices are going to be popping up as covers for terrorist assets,” he added.

On Sunday, Israel shared intelligence with the US proving that Hamas operated inside the Gaza structure, according to officials in Jerusalem.

Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.