Middle East

New Israeli strike in Gaza City wounds 18: ministry

At least 18 Palestinians were wounded Thursday as Israel struck a building in central Gaza City, the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave said, after hours of relative calm.

People inspect the rubble of a building following an Israeli air strike on Gaza City on August 9, 2018
People inspect the rubble of a building following an Israeli air strike on Gaza City on August 9, 2018 (AFP)

At least 18 Palestinians were wounded Thursday as Israel struck a building in central Gaza City, the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave said, after hours of relative calm.

The strike hit a building that Palestinians say housed a cultural centre and other offices in the middle of the city, an AFP correspondent said. Israel's military had not commented.

The strike came after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit an open area deep inside Israel near the major city of Beersheba, causing no damage or injuries.

It was the first time since a 2014 war that a rocket had hit that deep inside Israel, according to Israeli media.

The Said Meshal Cultural Centre confirmed on its Facebook page the offices in Gaza City had been destroyed, saying the building also hosted offices for the Egyptian community in Gaza.

The building was not publicly known to include facilities for Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas.

Israel has struck more than 150 Hamas targets since late Wednesday after the Islamist group and its allies fired some 180 rockets and mortars at the Jewish state.

Three Palestinians have been killed, including a pregnant woman and her 18-month old daughter, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

At least seven civilians were injured by the rocket fire on the Israeli side.