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Israeli airstrike levels 7-story building in Gaza

Gaza, Aug 25 (): Israeli aircraft set out two artillery at a 12-story apartment building on Saturday in downtown Gaza City, collapsing the construction, sending an enormous fireball into sky and injuring about 22 people, along with 11 children, Palestinian officials and witnesses said.

In nearly 7 weeks of aggressive fighting with Hamas, Israel has tossed out nearly 5,000 aerial attacks against Gaza, but the strike on Saturday is the first time in which a complete high building has collapsed.

Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautioned the civilians of Palestine on Sunday to immediately leave any place where the militants are functioning, a day after Israel crushed the 12-story apartment building in Gaza.

With no conclusion in vision to the fighting on the seventh week, the tough talk of Netanyahu seemed to specify a move towards aggressive air strikes against Hamas targets in densely populated neighborhoods, even at the possibility of raising more international alarm.

Initially, Israeli aircraft blazed a non-explosive missile at the building to signal the residents to move out of the building before attacking on Saturday. Israel said that the building lodged a Hamas command center.

Other air strikes also happened in southern Rafah town just hours after Israel bombed the 12-storey building with 44 apartments. Targeting large buildings looks to be a part of new military approach by Israel. Last weekend, the army started warning the residents of Gaza that it would aim at the buildings harboring “terrorist infrastructure” and that they should stay away.

Israel’s senior army official confirmed Israel has a plan of conducting air strikes at the buildings having Hamas operational centers. He said each strike needed prior consent from the military lawyers and it is done only after local population is cautioned.