GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israeli helicopters fired four missiles Sunday at a high-rise building housing a Hamas (search) radio station, lightly injuring seven Palestinians.
The airstrike took place just hours after Palestinian gunmen ambushed and killed a pregnant Jewish settler and her four young daughters as they were traveling out of Gaza (search).
The missiles, which hit the top corner of the 14-story building near the radio stations' offices, caved in part of the roof and cut off electricity to the building. The roof's red tiles were blown off and smoke rose through the exposed rafters.
Screaming women stood on the balconies. The building, filled with apartments and businesses, in the upscale Rimal neighborhood is also home to the two main Palestinian newspapers, Al Ayyam and Al Quds.
Military sources said the army had attacked a Hamas radio station that had been broadcasting "incitement."
After the first missile hit, the building shook and glass started flying everywhere, said Fathi Sabbah, an editor at Al Ayyam.
"Everybody was trying to get out ... but then they hit the building again. Glass flew everywhere, and the building shook," he said.
"The blasts were very powerful," said Moin Saraj, 35, a journalist at Al Ayyam.
Seven people were hurt by shrapnel and glass shards.
The first and second missile were fired about 50 seconds apart, giving people time to flee. People ran in panic through the streets after the attack.
The airstrike followed an attack by Palestinian gunmen on a white station wagon as it was driving out of Gaza. The attack — in which the two gunmen were also killed — killed a pregnant woman and her four daughters, outraging Israelis. Soldiers killed the two gunmen.
The militant Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committees, an umbrella group, claimed responsibility.
The violence came as members of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's (search) Likud Party voted in a referendum on his plan to unilaterally pull out of Gaza. Opponents of the plan say a withdrawal is a reward for terror, but supporters say the coastal strip is a quagmire Israel must leave.