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Israel handed over to the United States a retroactive intelligence file on the destruction of Al-Jalaa Tower in Gaza

A few days after the attack, the Israeli military began spreading news among Israeli and foreign journalists that Hamas electronic forces were operating there, trying to deflect Iron Dome interceptors and Air Force munitions from their tracks.

Jerusalem24 – Israel handed over an intelligence file to the United States, retroactively, on the destruction of the Al-Jalaa Tower in Gaza Last May.

The newspaper quoted Israeli sources as saying that the Israeli army did not have enough information about the tower and what was inside, noting that the report was transferred to the United States after President Joe Biden, asked then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to provide clarifications and explanations about the reasons for targeting the tower.

Senior Israeli officials expressed concern that moving the report would damage the relationship of trust between the two countries, even on security issues of strategic importance to Israel.

Fire and smoke rise from the al-Jalaa Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike, Gaza City, May 15, 2021. (Photo Credit: MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

Immediately after the attack, senior officials in the US administration turned to the Israeli security establishment and demanded one proof that Hamas acted in a way that justified the attack on the tower, and the next day intelligence information about the building was transmitted. However, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that they were not provided with any information proving that the attack was necessary. On the same day Biden had a conversation with Netanyahu, expressing his displeasure with the attack and demanding additional information about the reason for the destruction of the building, after which Blinken confirmed that he had indeed received this information but said he was forbidden to comment on it.

The newspaper had recently published a report, which revealed that the information provided by the Intelligence Division about the building did not include information that it contained press offices, including the offices of Al-Jazeera and the American news agency “Associated Press,” until after the owner of the tower was contacted and warning missiles were fired at him with the aim of evacuating him. .

According to the newspaper, due to coordination problems the information was not transmitted to the Armed Forces, the Air Force and the Israeli Target Administration and the information did not appear in the building’s objectives file when the decision to destroy it was made.

the paper  pointed out that when it became clear that the tower contained press offices, Israeli military Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi held an urgent discussion on the issue with the participation of a number of senior officers, and they warned of the damage that the destruction of the tower might bring, and what actually led to an impact on the entire military operation in the Gaza Strip.

Former Israeli army spokesman, Hadi Zilberman, says that the military operation had wide legitimacy to act against Hamas, even from the Arab world, but the destruction of the tower turned everything upside down. Even if the army and government did not admit it publicly, saying, “it was at that moment that I realized Israel must stop its operation.”

According to military sources, after the American demand and the international condemnation, the Israeli army began examining its information that was in its possession before the destruction of the tower, and began collecting retroactive intelligence information to present to the United States.

Intelligence efforts focused on bolstering evidence of Hamas activity in the building. A few days after the attack, the Israeli military began spreading news among Israeli and foreign journalists that Hamas electronic forces were operating there, trying to deflect Iron Dome interceptors and Air Force munitions from their tracks.

The Israeli army claimed, as reported by the newspaper, that it was 100% aware and certain that Hamas was using the tower for military purposes.

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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