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Violence in Gaza escalates at worst in a year, following killing of extremist chief

Israel hit Gaza with airstrikes on Saturday, and Palestinian militant groups retaliated with a barrage of rockets in the worst escalation of violence since last year’s war.
Health officials in the Islamist-controlled enclave of Hamas said 10 people, including a 5-year-old girl, were killed in the Israeli bombing and 79 wounded. presumed dead.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the Jewish state was forced to launch a “pre-emptive counter-terrorism countermeasure against the imminent threat” posed by Islamic jihadists after days of tensions along the Gaza border. .
Both Israel and Islamic Jihad have confirmed that the supreme leader of the militant group Taisir al-Jabari was killed in Friday’s strike against a building in western Gaza City.
Islamic Jihad said the first Israeli artillery strike amounted to a “declaration of war”, but then fired more than 100 rockets at Israel.
Rocket launches and Israeli attacks continued through the night, risking a repeat of the 11-day conflict in May 2021, devastating Gaza and forcing thousands of Israelis to rush to their air-raid shelters.
“Israel has no interest in the wider conflict in Gaza, but it has no hesitation in doing so,” Lapid said in a nationally televised address.
Air raid sirens sounded throughout the night in several parts of southern and central Israel, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Officials in border areas have urged people to stay close to shelters, and shelters have also opened in the commercial hub of Tel Aviv.
The military initially confirmed at least 70 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, with 11 falling into the Gaza Strip, dozens intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system and others opened. He said he landed on the spot.
Air raid warnings and Israeli attacks subsided at least temporarily by 4:30 am (0130 GMT).

Egypt, a historic mediator between Israeli and Gaza militants, is seeking mediation and could receive a delegation of Islamic Jihad late Saturday, Egyptian officials said in Gaza’s AFP. told to

Gaza health ministry says 5-year-old girl dead

Flames erupted from buildings in Gaza City as wounded Palestinians were evacuated by a medical squad.
Gaza’s health ministry reported that a “five-year-old girl targeted by the Israeli occupation” was among the nine dead.

Five-year-old Alaa Kaddum had a pink ribbon in her hair and a scar on her forehead from her father carrying the body for the funeral.

A Palestinian, along with other Palestinians, attends the funeral of 5-year-old Alaa Khadum, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike. credit: SOPA Images/Sipa USA

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Gaza City for the funerals of those killed in the airstrike.

Israeli military spokesman Richard Hecht said it “assumes about 15 people were killed in action” in Gaza, referring to Palestinian fighters.

Israeli tanks line the border and the military said it was ramping up its forces on Thursday.

conflict history

Hamas has fought four wars with Israel since seizing control of Gaza in 2007, including the conflict last May. Islamic Jihad is another group, affiliated with Hamas but operating independently.
Islamic Jihad intensified in 2019 after Israel killed Jabari’s predecessor, Baha Abu al-Ata.
The two sides exchanged fire for several days without Hamas entering the fray.
Hamas’ moves amid the current violence could prove crucial in judging its severity, and the group will remain calm to improve the economic situation in the territory. We are facing pressure from some.
Gaza City resident Abdullah Al-Araisi said the situation was “very tense”. “The country is devastated. Enough wars. Our generation has lost its future,” he told AFP.
Hamas said Israel had “committed a new crime for which it must pay”.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad are considered terrorist organizations by many in the West.

UN peace envoy ‘deeply concerned’

UN Middle East envoy Tor Wensland said he was “deeply concerned” and warned that escalation would be “very dangerous”.
The strike comes four days after Israel closed two border crossings with Gaza and restricted the movement of Israeli civilians living near the border, citing security concerns.
The move followed the arrest in the occupied West Bank of two senior members of Islamic Jihad, including Bassem al-Saadi, whom Israel accused of orchestrating the latest attack.
Israel has carried out a series of raids inside the West Bank since mid-March in response to deadly attacks on Israeli civilians.
Islamic Jihad did not fire rockets after Saadi’s arrest, but Israel claimed throughout the week that the group had promised to seek retribution.

Palestinians, including patients, and those with Israeli work permits have been barred from leaving the Gaza Strip since Tuesday, and the passage of goods has also been closed.

Violence in Gaza escalates at worst in a year, following killing of extremist chief

Source link Violence in Gaza escalates at worst in a year, following killing of extremist chief

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