Pictures show Hamas leader’s office leveled as Gazans take stock of damage
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Pictures show Hamas leader’s office leveled as Gazans take stock of damage

Officials in the enclave say Israel conducted 80 airstrikes overnight Monday-Tuesday in response to terror groups’ rocket fire, leaving 7 injured

  • A picture taken on March 26, 2019, shows a Palestinian man making his way through the rubble of a building in Gaza City, after Israeli air strikes hit dozens of sites across the Strip overnight in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
    A picture taken on March 26, 2019, shows a Palestinian man making his way through the rubble of a building in Gaza City, after Israeli air strikes hit dozens of sites across the Strip overnight in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
  • A man stares at building that collapsed reportedly from Israeli air strikes in Gaza City on March 25, 2019. (Mohammed Abed/AFP)
    A man stares at building that collapsed reportedly from Israeli air strikes in Gaza City on March 25, 2019. (Mohammed Abed/AFP)
  • A ball of fire lights the sky above a building believed to house the offices of Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Hamas terror group, during Israeli strikes on Gaza City, March 25, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
    A ball of fire lights the sky above a building believed to house the offices of Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Hamas terror group, during Israeli strikes on Gaza City, March 25, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
  • A picture taken on March 26, 2019, shows a boy crossing a debris-filled street next to the destroyed office of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City that was targeted the night before by an Israeli air raid. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
    A picture taken on March 26, 2019, shows a boy crossing a debris-filled street next to the destroyed office of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City that was targeted the night before by an Israeli air raid. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
  • A picture taken on March 26, 2019, shows a Hamas policeman standing guard next to the rubble of a building in Gaza City that was targeted the night before by an Israeli air raid. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)
    A picture taken on March 26, 2019, shows a Hamas policeman standing guard next to the rubble of a building in Gaza City that was targeted the night before by an Israeli air raid. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Pictures published Tuesday showed the offices of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh reduced to rubble as Gazans took stock of the damage Tuesday after an estimated 80 Israeli air strikes leveled dozens of Hamas and Islamic Jihad installations in the territory.

The Israeli strikes came in response to a rocket attack on central Israel early Monday that wounded seven and subsequent overnight rocket barrages from the Strip.

The figure of 80 strikes was cited by a Hamas-linked Gazan security source. The group also said seven people were hurt in the strikes.

Witnesses said the coastal enclave was rocked by explosions while fireballs rose in the sky in Gaza City, with the largest explosion coming from the building housing the office of Hamas’s leader, Ismail Haniyeh, which was completely destroyed, leaving nothing but a large pit in the ground after cleaning crews had removed the debris.

A ball of fire bellows above buildings in Gaza City during Israeli strikes on March 25, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

The low number of injures from the intense bombing campaign was credited to Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives fleeing their installations and moving underground hours before the Israeli strikes began on Monday night.

A picture taken on March 26, 2019, shows the destroyed office of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City that was targeted the night before by an Israeli air raid. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

Most of the terror groups’ leaders remained in hiding late Tuesday.

A picture taken on March 26, 2019, shows an excavator clearing debris next to the destroyed office of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City that was targeted the night before by an Israeli air raid. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

In Gaza, Raed al-Qahtawi, whose home was damaged in the strike on Haniyeh’s office, said he received a warning call from Hamas authorities beforehand.

A picture taken on March 26, 2019, shows a Hamas policeman standing guard next to the rubble of a building in Gaza City that was targeted the night before by an Israeli air raid. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

“We were sitting in the house and then they called us and told us to clear the house immediately,” he said.

The fighting appears to have subsided by Tuesday morning, with Hamas officials saying the group was committed to a ceasefire, though Tuesday night saw another flareup of violence.

Several terror groups said a lone rocket fired Tuesday after the beginning of the ceasefire “could be a result of an individual act of one of the factions in Gaza,” but was not ordered by Hamas, Islamic Jihad or other known groups.

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