The White House says Israel has a “paramount responsibility” to ensure the safety of journalists covering the spiraling conflict.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted on Saturday that the U.S. has “communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility.
President Joe Biden has urged a de-escalation, but has publicly backed Israel’s right to self-defense from Hamas rockets fired from Gaza.
The White House statement followed an Israeli airstrike that targeted and destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets.
AP’s president and CEO Gary Pruitt said the agency was “shocked and horrified” at the strike.
AP staffers and other tenants safely evacuated the building after the military telephoned a warning that the strike was imminent within an hour. Three heavy missiles struck the 12-story building, collapsing it in a giant cloud of dust.