A Gaza residential tower collapsed and an Israeli bus was struck by rocket fire as violence escalates: reports
- Tensions in
Israeland Gaza escalated Tuesday following a series of Israeli airstrikes and rocket fire from Palestinian militant groups.
- An Israeli airstrike hit a 13-story residential tower in the Gaza strip Tuesday evening, which collapsed, Reuters reported.
- Palestinian militants launched a barrage of rockets toward Tel Aviv, one of which hit an empty bus.
Tensions in Israel continued to escalate Tuesday evening as Israeli forces carried out airstrikes in Palestinian territory and Gaza militant group Hamas fired rockets at Israeli cities.
Witnesses told the outlet that the building collapsed soon after being hit. The tower was home to an office used by Hamas political leadership.
Witnesses also said residents of the tower and those living nearby had been told to evacuate about one hour before the airstrike, Reuters reported. It was unclear if the building had been fully evacuated before the strike.
Around 9 pm on Tuesday night, Palestinian militants responded and fired rockets toward Tel Aviv, one of which hit an empty bus. Three people were wounded, including a five-year-old, according to The New York Times.
Hamas said the rockets were revenge for Israel's previous airstrike that hit the residential tower, the Times reported. According to the Jerusalem Post, the barrage set off sirens throughout the center of the country.
Hamas had reportedly warned Israel that if the country continued to strike Gaza buildings, the militants would fire missiles into Israel's second-largest city.
The increased violence comes amid an uptick of clashes between police and Palestinian protesters in Jerusalem, including at the Aqsa compound, a sacred site to both Jews and Muslims.
According to the Times, Israel had carried out more than 100 retaliatory strikes in Gaza by Tuesday morning following a surprise barrage of rockets aimed at Jerusalem by Hamas the previous day. Israeli military officials told the Times that militant groups had fired close to 500 rockets into Israel by Tuesday afternoon.
Israel's 130 air strikes throughout Monday and Tuesday killed at least 26 Palestinians, including nine children, health officials in Gaza told The Times. In the Israeli city of Ashkelon, two people were killed in strikes, and more than 50 Israelis have received hospital treatment for injuries, according to the outlet.
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