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The fighting began with Israel killing a senior Islamic Jihad commander in Palestine in Friday’s strike.
TEL AVIV, Israel — Israeli airstrikes knocked down houses in Gaza on Saturday as Palestinian rockets were fired into southern Israel 2nd day persistence, raising another major escalating concern in the Middle East conflict. Gaza’s health ministry said 24 of her people, including six of her children, had died in the coastal zone so far.
The fighting began with Israel killing a senior commander of an Islamic Jihad group in Palestine on Friday in a series of attacks it said were intended to prevent an imminent attack.
So far, Hamas, the larger militant group that governs Gaza, has appeared to remain on the sidelines of the conflict, keeping the intensity of the conflict somewhat under control. Israel and Hamas just fought a war a year ago. This he is one of four major conflicts and one of several smaller battles that have occurred in the last 15 years. staggering toll To 2 million Palestinian residents in poor neighborhoods.
Whether Hamas will continue to stay out of the fighting will likely depend on how much punishment Israel imposes in Gaza as rocket fire continues steadily.
The Israeli military said a errant rocket fired by Palestinian militants late Saturday killed civilians, including children, in the town of Jabariya in northern Gaza. The military said it had investigated the incident and concluded that it was “definitely” due to a failed Islamic Jihad. There was no official Palestinian comment on the incident.
A Palestinian medical worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to brief the media, said at least six people, including three children, were killed in the blast.
Airstrikes in the southern city of Rafah destroyed homes and severely damaged surrounding buildings. At least two people, including children, were killed and 32 injured, the health ministry said. His teenage boy was found in the rubble, and another of his killed was identified by his family as his Ziad al-Mudalal, the son of an Islamic Jihad official. I was.
The military said it targeted Khaled Mansour, the commander of Islamic Jihad in southern Gaza. Neither Israel nor the militant group said whether he had been hit. Civil Defense said responders were still sifting through the debris and an excavator was being dispatched from Gaza City.
Another strike on Saturday killed a 75-year-old woman and injured six others after a car crash.
In one of the strikes, fighter jets dropped two bombs on the homes of Islamic Jihad members after Israel warned people to evacuate the area. The blast caused him to collapse a two-story building, leaving a large crater filled with debris and severely damaging surrounding homes.
Women and children fled from the area.
“Did they warn us? They warned us with rockets and we fled without taking anything,” said Huda Shyamalaf, who lived next door. She said 15 people lived in the targeted home.
Among the 24 Palestinians killed were six children and two women, as well as a senior Islamic Jihad commander. The Gaza Health Ministry said more than 200 people were injured. It does not distinguish between civilians and fighters. The Israeli military said on Friday that early estimates put about 15 fighters dead.
The only power plant in Gaza shut down at midday on Saturday due to a fuel shortage.New chaos has left Gazans with electricity for only four hours a day, reducing their dependence on their own generators. , exacerbating the region’s chronic power crisis in the peak summer heat.
Throughout the day, Gaza militants regularly fired rockets at Israel. The Israeli military said about 450 rockets were fired Saturday night, 350 of which reached Israel, but almost all were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. rice field.
Rockets were fired toward Tel Aviv, setting off sirens to send residents to shelters, but the rockets were intercepted or fell into the sea, the military said.
Sunday could be an important day of rekindling, as Jews mark Tisha Bav, a solemn day of fasting that commemorates the destruction of the biblical temple. Thousands are expected to attend the Western Wall in Jerusalem, and Israeli media reported that lawmakers will visit an important holy site on the city’s hilltop, a spark of violence between Israel and Palestine. is expected to be allowed by the Israeli leadership.
The violence will be an early test for Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid. assumed the role of interim prime minister He hopes to keep the position ahead of the November elections.
Mr Rapid, a centrist former TV host and author, has diplomatic experience as foreign minister in the outgoing government but has weak security credentials. The conflict with Gaza could hone his position and boost him as he confronts former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the security hawk who led the country in three of its four wars with Hamas. have a nature
Hamas also faces a dilemma in deciding whether to join the new battle just one year after the previous war caused widespread devastation. Since then, little reconstruction has taken place, and the isolated coastal area has plunged into poverty, with unemployment hovering around 50%. Israel and Egypt have maintained a tight blockade on the region since Hamas took over him in 2007.
Egypt stepped up efforts to prevent escalation, contacting Israel, Palestinians and the United States to prevent Hamas from joining the battle on Saturday, an Egyptian intelligence official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The latest violence in Israel and Gaza stems from the arrest earlier this week of a senior Islamic Jihadist leader in the occupied West Bank as part of a months-long Israeli military operation.
Israel then closed roads around Gaza, sent reinforcements to the border, and prepared for retaliation. On Friday, it killed Taysel al-Jabari, commander of Islamic Jihad in northern Gaza, in a strike on an apartment building in Gaza City.
An Israeli military spokesman said the attack was in response to an “imminent threat” from two militant units armed with anti-tank missiles.
Hamas seized power in Gaza from rival Palestinian forces in 2007, two years after Israel withdrew from the coast. The most recent war with Israel he was in May 2021. Tensions have risen again this year Following a string of attacks inside Israel, near-daily military operations in the West Bank, and tensions in the flashpoint Jerusalem Holy Land.
Iran-backed Islamic Jihad is smaller than Hamas, but share its ideology to a large extentBoth groups oppose Israel’s presence and have carried out numerous deadly attacks over the years.
Goldenberg reported from Tel Aviv, Israel.
Fighting escalates between Israel, Palestinian groups Source link Fighting escalates between Israel, Palestinian groups