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Al-Jalaa Tower, housing media outlets including AP and Al Jazeera, following an airstrike by Israeli forces in Gaza City on Saturday. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

AP's top editor on Sunday called for an independent investigation into an airstrike by Israeli forces that destroyed the 12-story building housing its local media office in Gaza.

Driving the news: Israel's government has said the building housed Hamas. But AP executive editor Sally Buzbee said the government has "yet to provide clear evidence" of this. Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders said Sunday it asked the International Criminal Court to investigate whether the bombing "constitutes a war crime."

  • The State Department did not immediately return Axios' request for comment on the investigation calls. But Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered support for independent journalists and media organizations to AP CEO Gary Pruitt Saturday, according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

The other side: Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the Israeli government was "compiling evidence for the U.S." over the bombing of the building, which also housed Al Jazeera's local offices, but "declined to commit to providing it within the next two days," AP reports.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, "We share with our American friends all that intelligence and here's the intelligence we had.
"It's ... an intelligence office for the Palestinian terrorist organization housed in that building that plots and organizes the terror attacks against Israeli civilians. So it's a perfectly legitimate target."
— Netanyahu

Go deeper

Aug 18, 2021 - World

Scoop: CIA director raised China concerns with Israeli prime minister

The U.S. has raised concerns about Chinese investment in the Port of Haifa project. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty

While visiting Israel last week, CIA director Bill Burns told Prime Minister Naftali Bennett the U.S. was concerned about Chinese investments in Israel, particularly in the tech sector, and involvement in major infrastructure projects, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: That's the highest level at which the Biden administration has raised an issue that previously became a rare point of contention between the Trump and Netanyahu governments.

Aug 18, 2021 - World

Dispute with Poland on Holocaust shows Israel's shift on EU relations

Netanyahu (R) in 2019 with Polish President Andrzej Duda (C) and then-Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: Janek Skarzynski/AFP via Getty Images

The diplomatic crisis over a Polish law limiting the ability to introduce claims to property confiscated during World War II is a manifestation of the shift in Israeli policy toward Europe under the new government.

Why it matters: The bill will mostly impact Holocaust survivors and their descendants, and it's seen by the Israeli government and the Biden administration as another step by Poland's government to rewrite the country's history around the Holocaust.

Aug 18, 2021 - World

CIA director was traveling in Middle East when Kabul fell

Bill Burns departs his confirmation hearing. Photo: Tom Brenner/Pool/Getty

While the drama in Kabul was unfolding over the weekend, CIA director Bill Burns was on a six-day trip to the Middle East.

Why it matters: The CIA and the rest of the U.S. intelligence community have been highly criticized in recent days for an apparent intelligence failure over the swift Taliban takeover. The fact that Burns was on an overseas trip suggests the agency didn’t think a collapse was imminent.

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