Israeli air strike destroys Gaza tower block

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Hamas says it launched 130 rockets towards Israel after a residential tower Gaza collapsed after an Israeli air raid.

A 13-storey residential tower in Gaza City has collapsed after Israeli airstrikes targeted the building.

There were no reports of casualties among the residents, who reportedly vacated the Hanadi tower before it was hit.

Video footage showed three plumes of thick smoke rising from the tower, its upper storeys still intact until it collapsed to the ground. The tower houses an office that is used by the political leadership of Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas.

Electricity in the area around the building went out after the collapse. Residents were using flashlights to search for personal belongings nearby.

Shortly after the strike, Hamas, the group that controls the besieged Gaza strip, said it launched 130 rockets towards the Israeli city of Tel Aviv

Hamas’ armed wing, the Qassem Brigades, had warned it would retaliate over the strike on the tower near the coast, before confirming it had launched an attack on “Tel Aviv and its suburbs with 130 missiles”.

The latest flare-up of violence began after Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday for a third consecutive day, firing rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and tear gas at Palestinian worshippers inside Islam’s third holiest site in the final days of the holy month of Ramadan.

Responding to the crackdown, Hamas issued an ultimatum, saying Israel had until 6pm (15:00 GMT) to withdraw its forces from Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Shortly after the deadline expired, Hamas fired several rockets into Israel. Israel responded by launching air raids at the besieged territory, killing 28 people, including 10 children.

This is a developing story. More to follow…



Al Jazeera and news agencies

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