Israel has informed the Associated Press (AP) that Palestinian Hamas terrorists were using the building it shared with other news agencies in Gaza to house electronic equipment that was used to try to interfere with the Iron Dome system.
The Iron Dome missile defense system protected Israeli civilians from terrorist rockets, potentially saving thousands of lives during last month’s conflict with Palestinian Hamas terrorists. The system also saved Palestinians indirectly by making it possible for Israel to wage war with pinpoint airstrikes and without mounting a large-scale ground operation.
The AP and other news agencies complained last month after the building, Jala Tower, was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike during the war with Hamas. Israel warned the occupants to evacuate beforehand and there were no casualties.
The AP denied any knowledge that Hamas was using the building, and demanded an explanation. Initially, the Biden administration admonished Israel, but Israeli officials showed the U.S. what was said to be “smoking gun” intelligence.
On Tuesday, the Jerusalem Post reported that Israel had conveyed information to the AP about their former Gaza neighbors:
Hamas worked on a device to disrupt the Iron Dome missile defense system in the same building in Gaza as the Associated Press’s office, which Israel bombed during Operation Guardian of the Walls, Israeli Ambassador to the UN and US Gilad Erdan said on Monday night.
Erdan relayed the information, in coordination with the IDF [Israel Defense Forces], to AP CEO Gary Pruitt and Vice President for Foreign News Ian Phillips in New York.
The target was of “utmost importance,” Erdan said, because of the work on an electronic system to disrupt the Iron Dome system that saved millions Israelis from over 4,000 rockets terrorist groups launched from Gaza.
According to the IDF, the site was used by the Hamas terror organization for intelligence R&D and to carry out SIGINT (signals intelligence), ELINT (electronic signals intelligence), and EW (electronic warfare) operations, targeting both IDF operational activity and civilian systems in Israel.
Hamas routinely places terrorist infrastructure in civilian areas, both to shield it and to maximize public relations damage to Israel in the event that there are civilian casualties during conflict.
On Monday, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, the refugee agency for Palestinians, reported that there was a terror tunnel underneath a school struck by Israel during the conflict. There were no civilian casualties in the airstrike because the school had been empty at the time of the airstrike.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it). His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.