May 16 2021 the Israeli military blew up a building in the Gaza Strip, including the Associated Press, Al Jazeera and other international media branches, the incident caused many condemnation. According to the Times of Israel, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken paid tribute to Associated Press President Gary Pruitt that day, but he made no mention of Israel, let alone condemned it.
Blinken claimed to be “firmly supportive” of independent journalists and media organizations around the world, noting that their reporting in conflict zones was essential. He also expressed “satisfaction” that the Associated Press team in Gaza remained safe. The response was condemned by netizens as “empty” and “double-labeled”.
The Israeli military had previously said the attack on the building was carried out because it contained “military assets” from Hamas’s intelligence services and that the media had not been targeted by air strikes. But the Associated Press said there was no evidence of military targets in the building. Associated Press President Gary Pruitt said the Israeli military action was shocking and disturbing. He also said that as a result of the air strikes, the world would know little about what was happening in Gaza.
Al Jazeera also issued a statement condemning Israel’s actions in the “strongest terms.” The statement said the purpose of the Israeli air strike on the media building was “obvious” to try to prevent journalists from reporting what was happening in the Gaza Strip, and Al Jazeera said it would take all possible measures to hold the Israeli government accountable.