A senior general in the Israeli reserve army admitted that the operation to destroy al-Jalaa Tower in the Gaza Strip was a grave mistake, causing Israel more harm than good.
“Bringing down the tower with world news media offices was equivalent to a self-inflicted public relations terror attack,” said Maj. Gen. (res.) Nitzan Alon, the former head of the Israeli army operations.
Alon, who led the military’s probe into the public relations-related issues linked to the recent conflict, was referring to Israel’s military operation in Gaza in May, dubbed “Guardian of the Walls,” during which the building was bombed.
“The operational benefit was not worth the damage that it caused diplomatically and in terms of perception,” he said.
Alon made his comments at a conference hosted by Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies about the importance of public perception during military conflicts.
Israel destroyed the 12-storey tower block in Gaza housing the offices of the US-based Associated Press and other news media on May 15, saying the building was also used by the Hamas group.
It claimed the building housed Hamas military intelligence, saying its personnel there were “developing an electronic jamming system to be used against the Iron Dome defense system.”
The Israeli military said the purpose of the strike “was to curtail these enemy capabilities, including destroying special equipment and preventing their use during the operation.”
“The strike was designed to collapse the building in order to ensure the destruction of the special means.”