Israeli warplanes hit Gaza City tower blocks

AFP , Tuesday 26 Aug 2014

A Palestinian family looks from a window to the rubble of the collapsed 15-story Basha Tower following early morning Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (Photo:AP)

Israeli air strikes on Gaza City killed two Palestinians early Tuesday, while scores more were wounded when warplanes bombed two high-rise residential blocks, medics and witnesses said.

More than 2,100 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel began its offensive on July 8, aiming to stamp out rocket fire from Palestinian militants. On the Israeli side 68 have been killed, almost all of them soldiers.

An early air strike killed two men in the street in the northern Al-Nafaq neighbourhood, medics said.

Some time later, another strike on the Nasser neighbourhood, also in the north, hit a 16-storey mixed-use complex known as "Little Italy", causing its complete collapse, witnesses said.

Medics said 25 people were wounded in the raid but no one was killed.

Witnesses said that F16s fired at least six rockets at the tower block, in which there were 60 apartments and a commercial complex including dozens of shops, completely destroying it.

They said residents had fled the building after the Israeli army sent them pre-recorded warning messages.

"The army told them to leave immediately and they all ran out into the street to find shelter," one told AFP.

Shortly afterwards, warplanes fired on the 14-storey Al-Basha building in the western Rimal neighbourhood, causing massive damage and wounding another 15 people, witnesses and medics said.

Part of the building was used by Sawt Al-Shaab radio, or "Voice of the People", run by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

*This story was edited by Ahram Online.


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