Israeli Airstrike Destroys Apartment Tower in Gaza
At least 22 are injured after 12-story collapse
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 23, 2014 1:00 PM CDT
Israeli soldiers rest on top of a Merkava tank, while patrolling near the Israel Gaza border in t his file photo.   (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

(Newser) – Israeli aircraft fired two missiles at a 12-story apartment tower in downtown Gaza City today, collapsing the building and wounding at least 22 people, including 11 children, witnesses and Palestinian officials said. Israel has launched some 5,000 airstrikes against Gaza in nearly seven weeks of fighting with Hamas, but today's strike marked the first time an entire high-rise was toppled. Gaza police say Israeli aircraft fired a warning missile at the roof of the tower at dusk, followed five minutes later by two missiles with explosives.

Ayman Sahabani, the head of the emergency room at Gaza City's Shifa Hospital, said at least 22 people were wounded, including 11 children and five women. The leveling of the tower was a further sign of escalation following a breakdown of Egyptian-brokered ceasefire talks and the collapse of a temporary truce earlier this week. Earlier today, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry urged Israel and Hamas to resume indirect talks and agree to an open-ended ceasefire.