The Israel Defense Forces says Hamas was operating within a Gaza media tower housing the offices of international media outlets, including The Associated Press, to develop a system to disrupt the Iron Dome missile defense system.
The army’s statement comes shortly after Israel’s UN ambassador makes similar comments explaining the IDF’s widely condemned May 15 strike leveling the tower during last month’s 11-day conflict.
“During Operation ‘Guardians of the Walls’ the IDF struck the al-Jalaa building on May 15th, 2021. The site was used by the Hamas terror organization for intelligence R&D and to carry out SIGINT (signals intelligence), ELINT (electronic signals intelligence), and EW (electronic warfare) operations, targeting both IDF operational activity and civilian systems in Israel,” the army says.
“One of the main goals of these efforts was to develop a system that would disrupt the Iron Dome aerial defense system,” it says.
“The purpose of the IDF strike was to curtail these enemy capabilities, including destroying special equipment, and preventing their use during the operation. According to IDF assessments, the equipment was in the building at the time of the strike. The strike was designed to collapse the building in order to ensure the destruction of the special means.
“The target was of high military value to Hamas and was vetted according to rigorous procedures within the IDF, and in accordance with international law,” adds the military.