Israeli bombings against Gaza and Islamic Jihad rockets against Israel



Israel continued its airstrikes in Gaza on Saturday, from where the Islamic Jihad organization responded with rocket fire, in the most serious escalation of violence in the Palestinian enclave since the war in May last year.

The Israeli army said it had killed 15 Islamic Jihad fighters on Friday in attacks mainly targeting weapons manufacturing sites.

For its part, the Gaza Ministry of Health reported 10 dead, “including a 5-year-old girl,” and 75 wounded.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the operation was directed “against an immediate threat.”

The Islamic Jihad, included in the list of terrorist organizations of the United States and the European Union (EU), confirmed the death of one of its leaders, Tayseer al Jabari ‘Abu Mahmud’.

In Israel, alarm sirens sounded in several southern towns when the rockets were fired, but no casualties or damage were reported, according to the army, which reported that of the 70 projectiles fired from Gaza, 11 landed inside the blockaded Palestinian enclave. Israeli.

The remaining rockets were either intercepted by the Israeli missile shield or landed in uninhabited areas of Israel.

In the evening, Islamic Jihad announced that its military branch had fired “more than 100 rockets” at Israel, as an “initial response” to the Israeli state’s offensive.

Egypt, a historic mediator between Israel and armed groups in Gaza, sought to intervene in the conflict and could host a delegation from Islamic Jihad, Egyptian officials told AFP.

– “We want to live” –

During the day, AFP reporters observed the transfer of injured people and the action of firefighters to put out several fires. Numerous inhabitants flocked to the morgues.

“We hope the situation doesn’t get worse, said Abdullah al-Arayshi, a 22-year-old from Gaza. “We want to live. Enough of wars, of destruction. We are a generation that has lost its future,” he added.

Hundreds of people attended Al Jabari’s funeral at nightfall.

Meanwhile, the father of little five-year-old Alaa Kaddum also said goodbye to his daughter, with a pink bow in her hair and a wound on her forehead.

“The Zionist enemy initiated this aggression and must prepare for us to fight relentlessly,” the secretary general of Islamic Jihad told Lebanese Al-Mayadeen television from Tehran.

Prime Minister Lapid accused Islamic Jihad of being an “Iranian propping force that seeks to destroy the State of Israel and kill innocent Israelis.”

The Palestinian Presidency, based in Ramallah (occupied West Bank), condemned “Israeli aggression.”

The UN envoy for the Middle East, Tor Wennesland, said he was “deeply concerned”, alarming in a press release of a “very dangerous escalation”.

The Israeli offensive followed the arrest on Monday in the occupied West Bank of an Islamic Jihad leader, Basem Saadi.

Israeli authorities feared retaliatory attacks from Gaza, a territory ruled by the Islamist group Hamas and with a strong Islamic Jihad presence.

The army closed all border crossings on Tuesday, blocking the entry of thousands of Gazans who have work authorization in Israel.

Since 2007, Israel has imposed a strict blockade of the Gaza Strip, an enclave of 362 km2 in which 23 million inhabitants live, with high levels of unemployment and poverty.

The last Israeli bombardments in the area dated from February 19, when the army attacked a Hamas position, responding to a rocket fire from the enclave.

This Friday is the worst confrontation between the Jewish State and the armed organizations in Gaza since the eleven-day war in May 2021, which left 260 dead on the Palestinian side, including combatants, and 14 dead in Israel, including a soldier, according to local authorities.

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