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Smoke and dust rise after an Israeli strike hits in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, Monday. / Adel Hana, AP

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Gaza police say Israel has bombed two large high-rise buildings in Gaza City, with dozens of homes and shops - an escalation in the seven weeks of fighting with Hamas.

Police say the 15-floor Basha Tower with apartments and offices was leveled in Tuesday's attack. The second building, the Italian Complex with 72 apartments and 60 stores, was badly damaged.

The towers were evacuated before the attacks. A Gaza health official says 25 people were wounded in the strike on the Italian Complex.

Israel says it targeted sites linked to militants, but made no references to the two buildings. Israel alleges Hamas often operates from civilian locations.

This is the second time since the weekend that Gaza high-rises have been toppled in an apparent attempt to increase pressure on Hamas.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: Israel destroys 2 Gaza high-rises in escalation

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