The Latest: Witnesses say Israel destroys Gaza City building

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Latest on developments in the Israel-Palestinian conflict: (all times local):

8:40 p.m.

Palestinian witnesses say Israeli aircraft destroyed a building in Gaza City.

The airstrike on the six-story commercial and residential structure Saturday evening reflects a broadening of the Israeli aerial offensive.

Palestinian militants and the Israeli military exchanged rockets and airstrikes through the day. But Israel mostly targeted rocket launching sites and militant compounds.

The latest airstrike on the building in the heart of Gaza City was the first in a populated area.

Journalists say the building also housed the office of Turkey’s news agency Anadolu.

There has been no immediate comment from the Israeli military


7:15 p.m.

Gaza’s health ministry says a Palestinian infant has been killed in an Israeli airstrike.

Seba Abu Arar, 14 months, died immediately Saturday and her pregnant mother was seriously wounded, the ministry said. Another child was moderately injured.

There were no additional details immediately available.

The airstrike happened in east Gaza City, the ministry said, as Israel continued its aerial offensive in response to rockets that Gaza militants have fired throughout the day toward southern Israel.

In Israel, national medical services said shrapnel from Gaza rockets wounded two people: an 80-year-old woman severely and a man, 50, moderately. Earlier, Magen David Adom put the age of the woman at 50.


6:25 p.m.

The Israeli military says the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group instigated the current round of Gaza-Israel violence.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an army spokesman, told reporters Saturday that the Iranian-backed group shot an Israeli officer and a female soldier the previous day.

He said the PIJ did not coordinate the shooting with Hamas, the larger militant movement that rules Gaza. But on Saturday, both factions fired 150 rockets toward Israel, a day after an Israeli retaliatory strike killed two Hamas militants.

Conricus noted that the shooting of soldiers, who were moderately and slightly wounded, respectively, happened as leaders of the two Palestinian groups were in Egypt for talks on cementing a cease-fire.

Israel hit 30 Gaza targets, including a “high-end Islamic Jihad tunnel” prepared to attack Israel, according to Conricus.


4 p.m.

A rescue agency says rockets fired from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have wounded an Israeli woman.

Magen David Adom, the national medical service, said Saturday that a 50-year-old woman was severely wounded in a rocket explosion.

Earlier, MDA said a 15-year-old boy was mildly injured while running for cover from incoming missiles.

In Gaza, meanwhile, Hamas’ al-Aqsa radio reported that a Palestinian was injured in the latest Israeli airstrike.

A cross-border exchange of rockets and airstrikes persisted through the day Saturday.


3:10 p.m.

The Israeli military says its aircraft have begun targeting militant sites in Gaza in retaliation for a flurry of rockets fired from the blockaded enclave into southern Israel.

The army said in a statement Saturday that 10 sites belonging to the territory’s Hamas rulers and the smaller Islamic Jihad group were hit.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Earlier on Saturday, Palestinian militants fired about 100 rockets into southern Israel, damaging a house, Israeli authorities said. Airstrikes soon afterward killed a 22-year-old Palestinian.

The flare-up began Friday when Gaza militants wounded two Israeli soldiers moderately and lightly, respectively. Israeli retaliatory airstrikes killed two Hamas militants. Another two Palestinians were killed during weekly border protests.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders are in Cairo to bolster a fraying deal that was hoped to achieve a long-term cease-fire in Gaza.


10:40 a.m.

The Israeli military says Palestinian militants are firing rockets from the Gaza Strip.

The army said Saturday that sirens warning of incoming projectiles sounded several times in southern Israel.

In response, Israeli aircraft targeted two launch sites in northern Gaza. Local media reported three Palestinian casualties.

The deadly flare-up between Israel and Gaza militants enters a second day, shattering a monthlong Egyptian-mediated easing of hostilities.

On Friday, Israel said two soldiers were wounded by gunshots from the Hamas-controlled territory. No group claimed responsibility for the shooting.

Israeli aircraft carried out retaliatory strikes, killing two Hamas militants. Two other Palestinians were killed during the weekly protests along the Israel-Gaza perimeter fence.

Egypt has been trying to reach a long-term cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, who fought three wars the past decade.

Categories: National News