The Slatest

Israel Topples 12-Story Apartment Building in Gaza

Palestinians walk next to a building that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City on Saturday. 

Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

Israel pounded a 12-story apartment tower in Gaza with two missiles, causing it to collapse entirely on Saturday. Israel was apparently targeting a Hamas operations room in the building, but it didn’t explain why the tower with 44 apartments was toppled, notes the Associated Press. The tower was in an upscale area of Gaza and surrounded by other high-rises that shook from the strikes. Israel had fired a warning missile five minutes before the big strike, so people were able to evacuate. But 22 people, including 11 children, were still wounded, according to hospital officials.

“People started shouting Allahu Akbar, and women and kids were screaming,” a witness said. “This is crazy. The state of Israel has resorted to madness. In less than a minute, 44 families have become displaced … They lost everything, their house, their money, their memories and their security.”

According to the Israeli military, around 60 air strikes were carried out on Gaza Saturday, while some 70 rockets struck Israel from Gaza, reports the BBC. Israel had warned on Friday it was ready to intensify its offensive in Gaza after a 4-year-old Israeli boy was killed. More than 2,100 Palestinians and 68 Israelis have been killed since July 8, according to Bloomberg.