US got ‘further information’ on Gaza high-rise bombing, says Blinken

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An Israeli airstrike hits the high-rise building housing the AP and Al Jazeera offices in Gaza on Saturday. (AP pic)

Reuters

REYKJAVIK: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said today that Washington had received further information about Israel’s destruction of a Gaza high-rise that housed the local offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera news organisations.

But he declined to comment further on it.

“We did seek further information from Israel on this question,” Blinken said at a joint briefing with Iceland’s foreign minister in Reykjavik.

“It’s my understanding that we’ve received some further information through intelligence channels, and it’s not something I can comment on,” he said.

Israel said its fighter jets struck a multi-storey building “which contained military assets belonging to the intelligence offices of the Hamas terror organisation”.

The Associated Press’ top editor Sally Buzbee on Sunday said they were yet to see any evidence from Israeli officials to justify the bombing and added that her organisation wants an independent investigation into the incident.

A call from by US President Joe Biden yesterday in support of a ceasefire appeared to go unheeded, although cross-border fighting between Israel and Hamas seemed to abate slightly on Tuesday.

Ron Dermer, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington and now adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told CNN that evidence has been provided to Washington.

“The evidence has already been provided, as I understand it, to US intelligence officials. And that was a site where you had Hamas intelligence in that building, and they were engaged in activity that actually would have, as far as I understand, would have undermined our ability to actually target effectively and also undermined our ability to intercept incoming rockets.”