Late on Saturday afternoon, supposedly in retaliation for yet another round of shelling by Hamas now that the X+1 "ceasefire" has failed to lead to anything tangible, Israel bombed an apartment tower in Gaza City, collapsing the 12-story building with 44 apartments. The dramatic strike is shown in the blip below. Amazingly, while dozens were wounded in the strike, no one was killed, Palestinian officials said.
The targeting of large buildings appears to be part of a new military tactic by Israel. Over the weekend, the army began warning Gaza residents in automated phone calls that it would target buildings harboring "terrorist infrastructure" and that they should stay away.
A senior military official confirmed that Israel has a policy of striking at buildings containing Hamas operational centers or those from which military activities are launched. The official said each strike required prior approval from military lawyers and is carried out only after the local population is warned.
However, he said, there was now a widening of locations that the military can target. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to discuss the matter with reporters.
In the 12-story apartment tower, the target was a fourth-floor apartment where Hamas ran an operations center, according to Israeli media. In the past, Israel has carried out pinpoint strikes, targeting apartments in high-rises with missiles, while leaving the buildings standing. However, this time a decision was made to bring down the entire tower, according to Channel 10, an Israeli TV station.
The military declined immediate comment when asked why it collapsed the entire building instead of striking a specific apartment.
Meanwhile, Gaza militants continued to fire rockets and mortar shells at Israel, including at least 10 on Sunday, the military said. That was in addition to more than 100 on Saturday, most aimed at southern Israel.
So with that, and all the other geopolitical flare ups over the weekend, we look forward to the futures opening some 5 to 10 points higher in a few hours on all the "pent up de-escalation" from the past 48 hours.