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AP urges probe into Israeli strike on media tower

The Associated Press’ top editor is calling for an independent investigation into the Israeli airstrike that targeted and destroyed a Gaza City building housing the AP, broadcaster Al-Jazeera and other media, saying the public deserves to know the facts.

Sally Buzbee, AP’s executive editor, says the Israeli government has yet to provide clear evidence supporting its attack, which leveled the 12-story al-Jala tower.

The Israeli military, which gave AP journalists and other tenants about an hour to evacuate, claimed Hamas used the building for a military intelligence office and weapons development. Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus says Israel is compiling evidence for the US but declines to commit to providing it within the next two days.

“We’re in the middle of fighting,” Conricus says. “That’s in process and I’m sure in due time that information will be presented.”

Buzbee said the AP has had offices in al-Jala tower for 15 years and never was informed or had any indication that Hamas might be in the building. She said the facts must be laid out.

“We are in a conflict situation,” Buzbee said. “We do not take sides in that conflict. We heard Israelis say they have evidence; we don’t know what that evidence is.”

“We think it’s appropriate at this point for there to be an independent look at what happened yesterday — an independent investigation,” she adds.

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