Sunday, 24 August 2014

Israel's new madness: 2 high-rise buildings levelled, many homeless and injured

Two multi-storey buildings in Gaza have been completely destroyed by Israeli air strikes in less than 24 hours, possibly signalling a new tactic in Israel’s military campaign.

A 12-storey apartment building in Gaza City was brought down on Saturday evening and a seven-floor office building in Rafah was razed early on Sunday.

The hits followed warnings by the Israel Defence Forces, in leaflets, text messages and automated phone calls. The text of a leaflet dropped from aircraft said: “The IDF intends to attack terrorists and terror infrastructure across the Gaza Strip … Israel is currently attacking, and will continue to attack, every area from which terror activities against Israel originate. Every house from which militant activity is carried out, will be targeted. For your own safety, prevent terrorists from utilising your property for terror agendas, and stay away from every site in which terrorist organisations are operating.”

It was signed “Beware – Israel Defence Forces”.

In the Gaza City strike a huge fireball followed by a black column of smoke rose into the sky after two Israeli missiles toppled the Zafer Tower, one in a group of several highrises in the area. Neighbouring buildings shook from the blasts.

The Israeli military said the missiles targeted a Hamas operations room in the building but did not explain why the entire tower with 44 apartments was brought down.

Gaza police said a warning missile had been fired five minutes earlier and some residents were able to rush out of the building in time. But 22 people were wounded, including 11 children and five women, according to Gaza hospital officials.

Maher Abu Sedo, an area resident, said the two strikes came within seconds of each other.

“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” more


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