UK & World News

  • 24 August 2014, 0:58

Gaza: 'Israeli Airstrike' Hits Apartment Block

Witnesses say a 12-storey apartment block in Gaza City has collapsed after being hit by an Israeli airstrike.

Palestinian officials say Israeli aircraft fired two missiles at the building, sending a fireball into the sky and wounding 22 people, including 11 children.

Israel saidHamasmilitants were using the building as a command centre.

Gaza police say the aircraft fired an early warning non-explosive rocket at the roof of the building.

They said that was followed five minutes later by the missiles, which also shook nearby buildings.

Israel has been pounding Gaza with airstrikes after vowing "Hamas will pay a heavy price" for the death of a four-year-old boy from rocket fire.

The bombardment came hours after an attack on the southern Israeli village of Sdot Negev, in which the four-year-old died.

He suffered fatal wounds after the barrage of mortars landed in a collective farm, known as a kibbutz. Israeli military said 90 rockets were fired into the country overnight.

The boy is the fourth civilian in Israel to be killed in an attack from the coastal territory since the outbreak of conflict on July 8.

Earlier in the day three people were injured by shrapnel after a rocket fired from Gaza hit a synagogue in the city of Ashdod.

Hamas also killed 18 people suspected of being informers for Israel on Friday.

The destruction of the apartment signalled an escalation in military action following a breakdown of Egyptian-brokered ceasefire talks and the collapse of a temporary truce earlier this week.

So far more than 2,000 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict, which began as Israel sought to destroy a network of tunnels used by Hamas and other militants.

A total of 64 Israeli soldiers have also been killed.

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