May 16, 2021 - World

Blinken speaks with Associated Press CEO after Israeli airstrike destroys Gaza office

Smoke rises from the distance
Smoke rises after Israeli forces on May 15 destroyed the building in Gaza City where Al-Jazeera and Associated Press had their offices. Photo: Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt on Saturday after an Israeli airstrike destroyed the outlet's local media office in the Gaza Strip, which also housed the Al Jazeera office.

Why it matters: "The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what transpired today" Pruitt said in a statement — as fighting between Israel and Hamas continues to bring more casualties.

Driving the news: Blinken "offered his unwavering support for independent journalists and media organizations around the world and noted the indispensability of their reporting in conflict zones," according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

  • "He expressed relief that the Associated Press team on the ground in Gaza remains safe."

What they're saying: "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," Pruitt said in a statement.

  • "They have long known the location of our bureau and knew journalists were there. We received a warning that the building would be hit."

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