Israel Strikes Gaza as Tensions Rise: Live Updates

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Israel carried out quite a lot of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, with one of many strikes killing a senior determine of Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian militant group mentioned.Credit scoreCredit score…Mohammed Saber/EPA, by way of Shutterstock

TEL AVIV — Israeli airstrikes hit a number of targets within the Gaza Strip on Friday, killing quite a lot of individuals together with a senior commander of a Palestinian militant group, within the deadliest escalation of violence within the territory since an 11-day struggle final yr.

The strikes hit residential residences in addition to militant watchtowers, killing a minimum of 10 individuals together with a 5-year-old woman, and wounding 55, the Gaza well being ministry mentioned. One airstrike killed Taysir al-Jabari, a senior navy chief in Islamic Jihad, the second-largest militant group in Gaza, in response to each Islamic Jihad and the Israeli navy.

The escalation adopted one of many least violent phases in Gaza for a number of years. After the struggle in Might 2021, there have been comparatively few cross-border exchanges of fireplace, as tensions shifted to the occupied West Financial institution. Each Israel and Hamas, the militant group that dominates Gaza, had signaled they sought to keep away from one other full-scale struggle over the enclave, which has been beneath an Israeli and Egyptian blockade since 2007.

However the violence on Friday drew warnings of retaliation from Palestinian militant teams and raised the opportunity of prolonged battle.

The airstrikes adopted nearly per week of rising tensions between Israel and Islamic Jihad, which regularly acts independently of Hamas. Israel arrested one of many group’s senior commanders within the West Financial institution this week, resulting in threats of reprisal from its Gaza management.

Israel mentioned that Islamic Jihad had been poised to reply with a revenge assault, and that it had focused Mr. al-Jabari and others preemptively.

“Israel won’t enable the terrorist organizations to set the agenda within the Gaza Strip and threaten the residents of the State of Israel,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid of Israel mentioned shortly after the assault.

Israel closed crossings into the Gaza Strip this week in anticipation of a retaliatory assault following the arrest within the West Financial institution.

After the airstrikes, Islamic Jihad mentioned it might reply with pressure, and cities in southern Israel opened bomb shelters in anticipation of rocket hearth from Gaza.

“The enemy has began a struggle focusing on our individuals and all of us have to defend ourselves and our individuals,” an Islamic Jihad assertion mentioned.

It was not instantly clear whether or not Hamas would be part of Islamic Jihad. Prior to now, Hamas has sometimes sat on the sidelines as Islamic Jihad clashed with Israel.

“As we mourn the chief al-Jabari and the righteous martyrs, we affirm that issues are open to all instructions, calling for an finish to the Zionist aggression towards our individuals,” Ismail Haniyeh, chief of Hamas’s political bureau, mentioned in an announcement.

Credit score…Mohammed Salem/Reuters

Plumes of smoke billowed over the Gazan skyline and on the bottom, throngs of rescuers, medics and onlookers gathered on the street close to the place the Islamic Jihad commander had been killed. Images posted on-line confirmed him being carried by a crowd, and a grieving man carrying what gave the impression to be a useless baby coated in a shroud.

The airstrikes shifted the main target of battle again to Gaza. Since March, Palestinian attackers have killed a minimum of 19 Israelis and foreigners within the West Financial institution and Israel, in essentially the most intense wave of stabbings and shootings for a number of years. In response, Israel has mounted nearly nightly raids within the West Financial institution, arresting a whole lot of Palestinians and killing greater than 40, in response to the United Nations.

A number of civilians have been caught within the violence, together with Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian American broadcaster shot useless whereas masking an Israeli raid in Might.

Fady Hanona and Iyad Abu Hweila contributed reporting from Gaza Metropolis.


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