Israel Reveals “Smoking Gun” To United States Officials

( After Israel’s dramatic bombing on Saturday of a prominent high-rise in Gaza that leveled the building, officials in Jerusalem now say that they’ve shared evidence of Hamas operating from the building with the U.S.

Israeli officials confirmed to news outlets that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to President Joe Biden over the phone on Saturday and revealed the intelligence they had which led to the strike. A senior diplomatic source called the evidence “the smoking gun” and said that their American counterparts “found the explanation satisfactory.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu also separately confirmed the story, saying that Israel shares “all the intelligence with our American friends.” He elaborated on the target of the strike, saying that it was “an intelligence office for [Hamas] housed in that building that plots and organizes terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. It is a perfectly legit target.”

Israel has faced intense scrutiny and condemnation for this particular bombing since the building also housed the offices of the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera in Gaza. No casualties resulted from the bombing owing to advance warnings given to the occupants by the IDF.

The IDF defended its attack on the building in a statement saying that Hamas operated in the building to use the civilian occupants, including the press, as human shields. “The terror organization Hamas deliberately places its military assets in the heart of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip. Prior to the attack, the IDF warned the civilians who were in the building and gave them sufficient time to evacuate.”

The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera have both strongly condemned the attack, calling it “an incredibly disturbing development,” and “barbaric.”

However, former AP reporter Matti Freedman held a different view, writing in the Atlantic that AP reporters were in fact intimidated by Hamas into not reporting on their attacks, saying, “The AP staff in Gaza City would witness a rocket launch right beside their office, endangering reporters and other civilians nearby – and the AP wouldn’t report it, not even in AP articles about Israeli claims that Hamas was launching rockets from residential areas.”

In the wake of the strike, a few have argued that Israel’s actual targets were the press offices themselves, levelled to silence reporting on Israel’s actions. But a spokesman for the IDF brushed off those accusations, telling Reuters it was “totally false—the media is not the target.”