Did the Biden administration know that the Associated Press shared a building with the terrorist group Hamas when Israel bombed it? Press Secretary Jen Psaki isn’t saying, but Israel is assuring everyone that they, indeed, knew.
According to The Hill, Psaki was asked by reporters if Biden had seen the Israeli intelligence about the building in question. Her response was to put a brick wall up, telling reporters that she’s not going to answer that question, not now or ever.
The Hill reported that Israeli officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, confirm that the U.S. has been sitting on that info:
“I’m not going to be in a position now or ever of committing or confirming who has or hasn’t seen intelligence,” Psaki told reporters at a briefing Monday afternoon.
The Jerusalem Post, citing Israeli officials, reported over the weekend that Israel shared intelligence showing that Hamas was operating out of the building hit in Gaza with an airstrike on Saturday. The building housed the AP and Al Jazeera; journalists were given short warning before the strike and no one was harmed.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the Israeli government shared intelligence with the U.S. linking the building to Hamas.
“We share with our American friends all that intelligence and here’s the intelligence we had, it’s about Palestinian terrorist — an intelligence office for the Palestinian terrorist organization housed in that building that plots and organizes the terror attacks against Israeli civilians,” Netanyahu said. “So it’s a perfectly legitimate target.”
According to the Jerusalem Post, one senior diplomatic source said Netanyahu and Biden discussed evidence even after the bombing, further giving legitimacy to the strike.
“We showed them the smoking gun proving Hamas worked out of that building,” a senior diplomatic source told the JP. “I understand they found the explanation satisfactory.”
Israel is currently facing condemnation from many leftist sources for the strike on the building. Israel had ordered the area evacuated, making it clear that they were about to level the building in question, and an hour later they did.
If the Biden administration knew Hamas was operating out of that building, then it did make it a legitimate target for the Israelis. This admission by the administration would take quite a bit of heat off Israel, but so far Biden’s officials have remained more or less aloof about Biden’s stance on the bombing.
Psaki herself has been dodging questions about this very thing, noting that the Biden administration has engaged in “quiet and intensive diplomacy.”