WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press
' top editor called for an independent investigation into the Israeli airstrike that targeted and destroyed a Gaza City
the AP, Al-Jazeera, and other media
on Sunday, saying the public deserves to know the truth.
According to Sally Buzbee
, executive editor of the Associated Press, the Israeli government has yet to provide clear evidence to support its attack
on the 12-story al-Jalaa tower.
The Israeli military claimed Hamas
used the building for a military intelligence office and weapon development, giving AP journalists and other tenants about an hour to evacuate. Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Israel was compiling evidence for the US but declined to commit to providing it within the next two days.
“We’re in the midst of a fight,” Conricus said on Sunday, “and I’m sure that information will be presented in due time.”
Buzbee stated that the Associated Press has had offices in the al-Jalaa tower for 15 years and has never been informed or given any indication that Hamas may be present, and that the facts must be laid out.
“We are in a conflict situation,” Buzbee explained, “and we do not take sides in that conflict. We heard Israelis say they have evidence, but we don’t know what that evidence is.”
“At this point, we believe it is appropriate to conduct an independent investigation into what occurred yesterday,” she added.
When asked if he had relayed supporting evidence to President Joe Biden
in a call on Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
said, "we pass it through our intelligence people
Buzbee stated that the AP journalists were "rattled" following the airstrike, but that they are fine and are reporting the news, and she expressed concern about the impact on news coverage.
“This affects the world’s right to know what is going on on both sides of the conflict in real time,” she said.
The State Department said Blinken offered “his unwavering support for independent journalists and media organizations around the world, and noted the indispensability of their reporting in conflict zones” in a phone call with AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt
Buzbee and Conricus both appeared on CNN
's "Reliable Sources," while Netanyahu appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation."