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Israel air force hits Gaza building, no casualties

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Israeli helicopter gunships fired missiles at a building near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday, targeting suspected militants, the military said.

Witnesses said the strikes hit a multi-storey building and that tanks also opened fire shortly afterwards. Palestinian medical sources said there were no casualties and that a group of people inside the building was able to escape.

Israeli helicopters “struck a building in the central Gaza Strip where suspected militants were hiding,” a military spokesman told AFP.

“The militants planted explosive devices earlier today and planned to fire at IDF (Israel Defence Forces) soldiers,” a statement added.

“The militants returned fire toward the forces. No injuries were sustained amongst the IDF soldiers. A direct hit was confirmed.”

In a separate incident, two bullets fired from the northern Gaza Strip hit a kibbutz, causing damage but no injuries, Israeli police said.

“The shots were fired from the Gaza Strip and hit a building and a vehicle in Kibbutz Zikkim,” spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, referring to a collective village located several hundred metres (yards) from the northernmost part of the border between Israel and Gaza.

Rosenfeld said the shots were fired from “a large weapon, much bigger than a MAG,” he said, referring to a type of machine gun. “It was a long-range, .50 calibre bullet.”

An AFP correspondent at the scene said the bullets hit an industrial area of the kibbutz, with one ricocheting off the pavement and into a car windscreen, and the second hitting a mattress factory.

Rosenfeld said there was “no chance” the gun fire had originated from anywhere other than the Gaza Strip, but the Israeli army could not immediately confirm any cross-border shooting.


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