Israeli airstrikes decimated a seven-floor office building and severely damaged a two-story shopping center in Gaza early Sunday, continuing what appears to be an expansion of its campaign against Hamas.
The strikes in Rafah came just hours after Israel leveled a 12-story apartment building with 44 units in Gaza City. Dozens were reportedly injured in that strike, but no one was killed.
Taking action against entire structures instead of precision strikes against specific targets within buildings appears to be a shift in Israeli tactics, perhaps with the goal of eroding popular support for Hamas in Gaza if the the consequences of the strikes have an impact on more people.
"I call on the people of Gaza to immediately evacuate any structure that Hamas is using to commit acts of terror," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday at a cabinet meeting. "Every one of these structures is a target for us."
Israeli media reported that the specific target in the 12-story apartment building was a fourth-floor apartment where Hamas was running some of its operations. However, a military decision was made to take down the whole building.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.