AP continues to call for an independent investigation into the destruction of the building housing our Gaza bureau so that the facts are known.As we have said, we have no indication of a Hamas presence in the building, nor were we warned of any such possible presence before the airstrike. This is something we check as best we can. We do not know what the Israeli evidence shows, and we want to know.Had we seen any credible information that our journalists were at risk or our ability to report the news accurately and fairly was compromised, we would have taken action to address the situation. We would never knowingly put our journalists at risk.AP’s role is to report what is factually happening to the best of our ability. We are proud of our staff in Gaza, Israel, and across the region who continue to produce a factual, independent and comprehensive news report.
May 15, 2021, 3:40 p.m. ET: AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt issued this statement Saturday after AP’s Gaza bureau was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike:
We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza. They have long known the location of our bureau and knew journalists were there. We received a warning that the building would be hit.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.This strike is an incredibly disturbing development. We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life. A dozen AP journalists and freelancers were inside the building and thankfully we were able to evacuate them in time.The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what transpired today.