Israeli air strike destroys 12-story building in Gaza wounding 18
Palestinians survey the damage caused by an Israeli air strike, which hit the 12-story building in Gaza City (File/AFP)
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An Israeli air strike on Saturday evening leveled a 12-story apartment building in the heart of Gaza City, wounding at least 18 people, 10 of them children, and leaving dozens of Palestinian families homeless.
Residents in the 12-story Zafer 4 building were called by the Israeli military 10 minutes before the attack and told to evacuate, sparking a stampede as dozens of people ran down to the street, neighbors said.
Two missiles then slammed into the complex, reducing it to a pile of dusty rubble and sparking panic in the area as the tower collapsed on top of itself amid a massive cloud of smoke and debris, witnesses said.
An Israeli army spokeswoman told AFP a Hamas military operations room had been located in the building.
Veiled women wept as they stumbled down the street, cradling young children.
"They called some residents and said 'evacuate, the tower will be shelled'. We escaped to my neighbor and in minutes they destroyed it," said Sanaa Joda, who lived in the building.
A video from Shehab News Agency that could not be verified appeared to show the destruction of the building from a number of angles.