US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said that Israel has asked for evidence of Hamas working in a media building destroyed in an airstrike in Gaza, but no evidence has been provided so far.
According to the news agency AP, the multi-storied building collapsed due to the bombing of the Israeli air force in Gaza, in this building, there were residential houses as well as the offices of famous international organizations.
Israel has said it targeted Hamas in view of the attackers’ presence in the building but has so far failed to provide any evidence.
Speaking at a press conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Anthony Blinken said pressure was mounting on the Biden administration for a ceasefire following fresh clashes between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The building housed the offices of Al Jazeera and the Associated Press (AP), and Israel says it targeted the building on intelligence.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the attack on the building, calling it a legitimate target in a televised address to the nation.
“Immediately after the attack, we asked him to justify it, but we did not see any information,” the secretary of state said Monday.
Blinken’s remarks came after an emergency meeting of UN Security Council diplomats and foreign ministers of Muslim states on Saturday called for an end to the bloodshed, following a week-long Israeli airstrike. to be continued.
Despite constant pressure from Democrats and public pressure, US President Joe Biden has no immediate plans to press Israel for a ceasefire.
on the other hand, reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to clarify the war crime by the Israeli including bombing more than 20 media offices in Gaza and urged an investigation into the situation in Gaza and the West Bank.
RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said that deliberately targeting media offices is a war crime,” according to a statement from the RSF.
he said that Israeli forces have deliberately destroyed media outlets, not only causing unacceptable damage to equipment for news operations but also creating obstacles in the conflicting media that have a direct impact on the general population.
He also urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to determine whether these airstrikes are war crimes.
The first Israeli attack on media offices took place on May 12, when the 10-storey Al-Jawahar Tower in Gaza City was destroyed, according to an RSF report.
The next day, Israel demolished the Al-Shorouk Tower in Gaza City, a 14-story building that housed the offices of seven media outlets, including Al-Aqsa and TV.
It should be noted that on May 15, Israel targeted a multi-storey building in Gaza, where the offices of Al Jazeera and other international media, including the American news agency Associated Press (AP), were also destroyed.
According to foreign news agencies, the owner of Al-Jala Tower had already warned the media about the Israeli attack and the building had been evacuated.
The Israeli military operation was called a war crime by journalists around the world.
AP President and CEO Gary Prout said in a statement that this is an incredibly shocking development.
“We have barely escaped casualties. Dozens of AP journalists and freelancers were inside the building and thankfully we were able to get them out on time,” he said.
“What has happened today will make the world less aware of what is happening in Gaza,” he said.
Al Jazeera producer Lena Al-Safin said on Twitter that Israel had “threatened” that it would bomb Al Jazeera’s office and other international media outlets in Gaza City within an hour.
The destroyed building also housed the office of the Middle East Eye, which reported in a video that the owner of the building was talking to an Israeli army officer live on TV and told reporters to remove his belongings from the building before the bombing.