Israeli helicopters fired missiles at three targets in Gaza City early Sunday, knocking out electricity and wounding four Palestinians, medical workers said. The attacks occurred minutes apart just after midnight in two residential areas of the city. Dozens of people rushed into the streets in their pajamas.
The first strike targeted a building housing a branch office of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement. The attack lightly wounded three boys, ages 3, 14 and 15, medical workers said.
Ahmed Halless, Fatah’s secretary-general in the Gaza Strip, said the site was a cultural center that offered social and educational programs to local families. “Israel should understand that aggression will not bring peace. Violence will bring more violence,” he said.
The blast, in a residential neighborhood, caused heavy damage to the building and shattered windows in nearby homes and cars. Israeli Apache helicopters hovered overhead as ambulances arrived on the scene.
The second strike hit a multistory building housing the offices of Al Resala, a newspaper affiliated with the militant Hamas group. The newspaper’s office suffered heavy damage. One bystander was lightly wounded by shrapnel, medical workers said.
The Israeli army described the targets as “focal points of terrorist activity.” It said the Fatah building was used by the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a militant group loosely affiliated with Fatah, and said the Hamas newspaper was used for incitement and to pass messages between the militant group’s leaders.
Palestinians said a third attack struck an electric transformer, knocking out power in the northern third of Gaza City, home to 40,000 people. The army had no information on the strike.