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Israel's bombing of media building in Gaza was 'a mistake', ex-army general says

Palestinian workers collect the rubble of Al-Jalaa tower in Gaza City on June 22, 2021 [MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images]
Palestinian workers collect the rubble of Al-Jalaa tower in Gaza City on June 22, 2021 [MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images]

Former Israeli Army General, Nitzan Alon, yesterday described the occupation's bombing of Al Jalaa Tower, which hosted international media offices in the besieged Gaza Strip, as an "own-goal" for Israel, local media reported.

During its major offensive on Gaza in May, Israel bombed several high rises in Gaza, including the 12-story Al Jalaa Tower, which held the offices of AP and Al Jazeera.

Alon, who conducted one of the Israeli army probes into the offensive, spoke during a panel at an Institute for National Security Studies' conference about the issue.

"The demolition of the tower where the AP offices were located is equivalent to a 'PR terror attack' and an own-goal," the Jerusalem Post reported Alon saying. "The military benefit was not equivalent to the political and image damage [to Israel]."

It was an own-goal for us, not everyone in the IDF accepts this but I am convinced that this was a mistake. The operational achievement was not entirely proportional to the diplomatic PR damage that this thing created and even from that there is quite a bit to learn.

Stating that the Israeli military institution failed to push Gaza residents to stand against Hamas in Gaza, Alon said: "I think we are still very weak in being able to influence broad public opinion in Gaza during fighting and causing this pressure to reach Hamas' decision makers."

The Jerusalem Post said that the bombing of the building "was a turning point in the Biden administration's approach to Israel's anti-Hamas offensive, leading to condemnations by the White House press secretary as well as the secretary of state."

Israeli occupation forces bombed the building claiming it housed Hamas' offices, but it has so far provided no evidence of this.

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