“Gaza’s 9/11”: Israel destroys high-rise building in Gaza - video

In what many Palestinians are calling “Gaza’s 9/11,” Israeli warplanes today destroyed the 12-story “Zafir 4” residential tower in Gaza City’s Tal al-Hawa neighborhood.

This video captures the moment. It appears that the building was struck by two missiles.

The tower was part of the Zafir complex and contained 44 apartments housing about 240 people. Residents had reportedly received warnings to leave the building, but medical officials said 17 people were injured, four of them children.

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights states that the building was attacked by Israel “without giving any specific explanation that can be verified.”

It adds: “Al Mezan’s investigations indicate that no military activities took place in or around it. Hundreds of its residents; most of whom are families headed by employees of the Palestinian Authority, were displaced.”

At least ten Palestinians were killed in relentless Israeli airstrikes across the Gaza Strip on Saturday, mostly women and children, Ma’an News Agency reported.

Human rights groups have condemned Israel’s deliberate targeting of civilian homes and infrastructure, but amid international complicity and silence, it has continued the practice unabated.

At least 2,103 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks since 7 July, Ma’an said.

125 “9/11s”

The social media use of the term “Gaza’s 9/11” to describe today’s tower destruction is a reference to the 11 September 2001 attacks that destroyed New York City’s Twin Towers.

But the overall death toll in Gaza since Israel’s bombardment began on 7 July proportionately far exceeds those attacks.

Nearly three thousand people died in the 11 September attacks.

If Israel’s attacks on Gaza had been on the United States, it would be the equivalent of about 375,000 American deaths. That means Gaza has experienced about 125 “9/11s” since 7 July. This is hardly surprising, since Israel has dropped the equivalent of an atomic bomb on Gaza.

Twitter user @ZiadBGaza tweeted about his experience living near the destroyed tower. Here are some of his tweets:

Building housed Fatah officials

Israel has claimed that the building that was home to hundreds of people “was a center of terror activity, and housed several Hamas operation rooms.” It presented no evidence to support these claims.

But according to Dr. Ramy Abdu, chair of the independent group Euro-Mid Observer for Human Rights, in addition to housing many ordinary people, the Zafar 4 tower was also home to several senior Fatah officials.

Fatah is the faction headed by Palestinian Authority de facto leader Mahmoud Abbas who is in de facto alliance with Israel through the PA’s so-called “security coordination” with the Israeli occupation army in the West Bank.

The officials who lived in the building included Ibrahim Abu al-Naja, a senior Fatah leader in Gaza; Nazmi Muhanna, a Fatah leader and the head of the border crossings administration for the PA; and Rawhi Fattouh a former advisor to Mahmous Abbas.

More videos of the destruction of the Zafir tower




How can you say that it's clearly controlled? It's clearly a f**king mess. No controlled demo would cause that much damage to its surroundings.


The demolition of Zafir tower is another tragedy in a place where now there are more families displaced and more injured civilians. But I have a question. This is the first time where the Palestinian people have world wide attention, sorrow and consternation over Israeli treatment of them both in Gaza and the West Bank. Given the fact that Hamas has galvanized opinion against Israel, why, after the end of the cease fire, did Hamas immediately start rocket attacks and mortar shelling of Israel? Why did Hamas carry out public executions? What is the strategy? Does Hamas not realize that they cannot defeat Israel militarily? Does Hamas not realize that the trajectory of empathetic world opinion has started a death spiral? These actions by Hamas tarnish the possibility of bringing Israel to the negotiation table. Only the support of powerful nations can help Hamas with that effort. This is a blunder on their part. Yes, Hamas has a goal of the destruction of the Israeli state, but realistically, they cannot achieve this goal in the foreseeable future. They need to leverage the support of the world to achieve some kind of settlement. Now that they have embarked on a violent course, that support will wane and the Palestinian people will once again be marginalized. So, can anybody rationalize Hamas' actions as being in the best interests of Palestinians? How can Palestinians now get recognized by the U.N. body?


Hi George,

It seems that you have missed the Israeli part of events. You will find the answers to your questions in the article "Son of Death" by Israeli writer Uri Avnery.
See: http://www.counterpunch.org/20...

You will find that your conclusions are undermined by those answers.


I have the answer to your question George. Hamas embodies the plight and struggles of the Palestinian people as a whole. Your attempted distinction between Palestinians and Hamas is flawed. Hamas are Palestinian and Palestinians are Hamas. They stand in unity against the evil zionist occupation. In your view, you would have all Palestinians lay down and obey this occupation without any attempt of resistance. Just ask yourself one question, before the Zionist occupation forces invaded Palestine were there any so called Terrorists or Hamas for that fact? Answer that question and you'll simply see that Hamas firing missiles at the occupation is not a provocation of hostilities but a form of resistance of ALL Palestinians people.


"...why, after the end of the cease fire, did Hamas immediately start rocket attacks and mortar shelling of Israel?

This begs the question, how do you know it was Hamas? How do you even know it was Gazans? Israel has reputedly been caught faking rocket attacks many times. Go search for the videos yourself, they aren't hard to find. The point is, you don't know. And Hamas' track record at honoring ceasefires is actually pretty good, and far better than the IDF's.

And then there is the matter of the ethics of asking a people to completely submit to a far mightier oppressor in the name of peace. Isn't that like asking woman not to scratch the face of her rapist?


Hi George Aponick, you advise Hamas to solicit "empathetic world opinion", and that their "rocket attacks and mortar shelling of Israel" are a "blunder". However, can you point to even one historical example where a people living under occupation have freed themselves through a charm offensive aimed at getting other peoples to liberate them from their occupiers? Those, like you (evidently) and I (gratefully), who lack experience of this type of vicious struggle, should refrain from advising the combatants on tactics. We should stick to what we know, and I think what we and world opinion know, is that the Palestinians' natural right to self determination and political democracy in their own country has been denied to them since 1947 and before, and is still ongoing. They are the aggrieved party in principle and deserve our support. The subsequent reactive tactics of this or that militant Palestinian tendency do not alter that because they are irrelevant to it.


It seems to me that Hamas or any group of Palestinians that has access to rockets or other projectiles with sufficient range could use them most effectively by aiming them at the Ben Gurion (Tel Aviv) airport. Even one such rocket landing on or near a runway, or being intercepted over the airport or near a flight path, would probably force all airlines to stop flying to that airport, as happened only briefly last month. This would maximize the ratio of damage to the Israeli state to harm to innocent persons, like children or foreign agricultural workers.


Clearly the West is following the lead of the US again. And the US backs Israel no matter what. I am Canadian (Norwegian,Danish,English if that matters) and I write to my government all the time regarding the insanity of the West in the ME and the considerable backing of the rogue state Israel and its land theft continuing and its mass murdering in Gaza. Not one in my government has the guts to back me and they ignore the information I give hem as they rely upon American Corporate news rather than the truth.

I will continue my quest to have Palestinians given back all that has been stolen in 1917, 1947-8 and 1967 in particular and today in the Israeli massacre in Gaza (a concentration camp at best) and he West bank occupied by the criminal IDF.

The crap by the US and Israel will not stop soon enough but the world concern by so many people is increasingly turning against Israel as more and more truth is being exposed outside of the corporate news.


When Harper said "unequivocally support the Israel" the conservative lost all future votes & it would take a miracle to change my mind. NDP - walks the same thread. Seriously, Harper needs to grow balls because Canada already has. He pushed us -as a country- back to the ages, making us look like a dog chasing a bone. Many were frustrated. Another thing I noticed is the heavily biased and Islam-o-phobic news coverage. It's always kissing up to Israel. MSN-CA ( never expected much from them but wow) and CBC that I've seen so far (just wow).


I am a Jewish Israeli woman. My family survived the Holocaust. My beloved brother, a combat, was killed in a stupid war. My husband was a combat and survived all wars 1967-1982. I say clearly and loudly: the Israeli crimes are not in my name!


From Brazil

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You know, thousands of Palestinian children, elderly, women and  men have been and can still be killed, injured, maimed or displaced by Israeli action in Gaza. And we have seen that the great powers do nothing to prevent these massacres. We must do something. One idea is to support the UN in the investigation of crimes committed in that conflict. I ask your cooperation, signing and publicizing the demonstration below. http://www.avaaz.org/po/petiti...
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Rawhi Fattouh, living in this building as mentioned in your article, was also the interim President of the Palestinian Authority, following the death of Yasser Arafat.