Israeli army chief comments disputed

Israel’s defence minister has distanced himself from comments made by his military chief after Israel bombed a Gaza Strip high-rise housing news outlets, saying the remarks were not meant to be taken literally.

In an article published on the website of Channel 12 news over the weekend, the military chief of staff, Lieutenant General Aviv Kohavi, was quoted as saying that “the building was destroyed justly” and he did not have a “gram of regret.”

The article claimed that the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza used various floors of the Jalaa Tower for “significant electronic warfare” meant to disrupt Israeli air force GPS communications.

The article then said Kohavi had told “a foreign source” that AP journalists drank coffee each morning in a cafeteria in the building’s entrance with Hamas electronics experts, whether they knew it or not.

The AP called the comments ” patently false,” noting that “there was not even a cafeteria in the building.”

Asked about Kohavi’s comments, Defence Minister Benny Gantz told foreign journalists that the military chief was only speaking in figurative terms.

“When the chief of staff talked about it, he was trying to portray the atmosphere, not the actual aspects,” Gantz said.

Gantz again alleged that “there was Hamas infrastructure in offices that operated from this building.”

Read the article by Josef Federman in the Camden-Narellan Advertiser.