Photos: 14-Story Tower in Gaza Collapses Amid Israeli Airstrikes

May 13, 2021 Updated: May 13, 2021

Israeli jets on Wednesday flattened a 14-story-tall tower in Gaza City amid an escalating conflict between Jerusalem and Palestinian terror groups as local reporters said that the tower was used by Hamas.

The Al-Shorouk tower housed businesses as well as offices for Hamas’ Al-Aqsa satellite TV channel before it was hit by Israeli strikes, according to Ahram Online.

Reporters with Getty and AFP said Israeli fighter jets dropped several bombs on the building before it crumbled amid billowing smoke and explosions. The Epoch Times has reached out to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for comment.

Epoch Times Photo
Heavy smoke and fire surround the Al-Sharouk tower as it collapses during an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City on May 12, 2021. (QUSAY DAWUD/AFP via Getty Images)
Epoch Times Photo
Israel confirmed it struck the tower building. (QUSAY DAWUD/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Hamas, which has long been designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. Department of State, said it fired 130 rockets toward Israel in response to the attack, AhramOnline reported.

At least 87 Palestinians have been killed by ongoing airstrikes, including 18 children, said the Palestinian health agency in a tweet on Thursday. Israeli newspaper Haaretz, citing officials, reported Wednesday that seven people in Israel were killed by Palestinian fighters so far. That includes a 6-year-old Israeli identified as Ido Avigal, who was killed after being hit by shrapnel in the city of Sderot, according to the IDF.

Epoch Times Photo
Heavy smoke and fire rise from Al-Sharouk tower as it collapses after being hit by an Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, on May 12, 2021. (Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images)
Epoch Times Photo
People run away from the vicinity of Al-Sharouk tower as it collapses on May 12 in Gaza City. (Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images)

On Thursday, Palestinian fighters fired more rockets into Israel’s commercial heartland Thursday as Israel kept up a punishing bombing campaign in Gaza and massed tanks and troops on the enclave’s border.

Worried that the region’s worst hostilities in years could spiral out of control, the United States is sending an envoy, Hady Amr. Truce efforts by Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations have so far offered no sign of progress.

Epoch Times Photo
Other than the Al-Sharouk tower, seen above, several other buildings were struck in Gaza this week by Israeli Defense Forces. (Qusay Dawud/AFP via Getty Images)
Epoch Times Photo
An air-guided bomb can be seen hitting Al-Sharouk tower in Gaza City on May 12, 2021. (Qusay Dawud/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden, during a White House news conference Thursday, said he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and stressed Israel has the “right to defend itself” from rocket attacks. Top Republicans in Congress have issued similar comments amid the conflict.

Reuters contributed to this report.