Pre-dawn Israeli air strikes kill two, light up night sky
Monday, August 25, 2014 - 01:25
Israeli air strikes kill at least two people and wound 20 residents of one of Gaza's tallest apartment and office buildings. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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Pre-dawn Israeli air strikes on Tuesday (August 26) killed at least two people and wounded 20 residents of an apartment block in Gaza city, Palestinian health officials said.
Palestinian officials said 70 families lived in the 16-storey building, called the 'Italian' Building. The structure also housed offices and a shopping complex.
"At 11pm, a neighbour who lives in floor 11, received a phone call from the army. They told him, it was the Israeli Defense Forces on phone with him. They told him at 11.20 they will attack the 'Italian' tower building. They told him in the beginning they will fire couple of missiles, the first at 11.20, the second at 11.30, and then a third. They told him that after the third one, no one should be around the area of the building, because they will strike the building. They said - do not count the strikes, and do not come back to the area," Mohammed Lubad, resident of the building said.
Hundreds of neighbors in surrounding homes were also evacuating in case the damaged structure collapses, witnesses said.
Fatalities were averted by warnings issued to residents to vacate the premises and two non-explosive warning missiles fired by drones.
Another, 13-floor building in a densely populated area of the Gaza city was also hit in the overnight strikes.
According to residents, the building housed a number of media offices, a local radio station and a number of NGOs. The warning was made to the local radio station with offices in the building.
"In this building (Al-Basha), there are 45 offices, all of them media offices and charity organizations. There aren't offices for resistance in the building. No offices are related to political groups," Khalil al-Khalili a resident of Gaza said.
The attacks followed a day of heavy rocket fire at Israel, whose military said more than 130 rockets and mortar bombs were fired from Gaza on Monday, one of them injuring a civilian.
Hamas claimed responsibility for firing rockets at Tel Aviv, at least one of which was shot down by Israel's Iron Dome interceptor. Warning sirens were also heard in Israeli communities bordering Ben-Gurion International Airport.
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