Netanyahu Defends Airstrike on Building Housing AP Offices, Says Israel Had Intel It Was ‘A Perfectly Legitimate Target’


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday morning and defended the airstrike of a building that housed Associated Press and Al Jazeera offices.

The AP’s report on the airstrike said that “AP staffers and other occupants evacuated safely.” AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt put out a statement saying, “The Israeli government says the building contained Hamas military intelligence assets. We have called on the Israeli government to put forward the evidence. AP’s bureau has been in this building for 15 years. We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building. This is something we actively check to the best of our ability. We would never knowingly put our journalists at risk.”

In an internal memo obtained by Mediaite, Pruitt called the strike an “incredibly disturbing development.”

John Dickerson spoke with Netanyahu and brought up questions from press groups about Israel’s justification for the airstrike.

“What is that proof and did you show it to the Americans?”

“Here’s the intelligence we had,” Netanyahu said. “It’s about… an intelligence office for the Palestinian terrorist organization housed in that building that plots and organizes the terror attacks against Israeli civilians. So it’s a perfectly legitimate target.”

He told Dickerson they “took every precaution” to avoid casualties.

Dickerson brought up Netanyahu’s talk with President Joe Biden yesterday and said, “It’s inconceivable you would have talked to him and not shared proof of Hamas in those buildings that house the journalists. Did you share that with him?”

“Well, we pass it through the intelligence services to our people — to those people,” Netanyahu responded.

You can watch above, via CBS.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac