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The Israeli army on Friday carried out strikes on the Gaza Strip targeting the armed group Islamic Jihad, which in return accused the Jewish state of wanting to “start a war” against the Palestinian people. According to the Israeli army, fifteen people are said to have died, including a child and a leader of the Islamic Jihad group, Palestinian health authorities say. Shortly after, the armed group claimed to have responded with “more than 100 rockets”.
Israel launches new air offensive against Islamic Jihad in Gaza. The Jewish State army carried out several strikes on the Palestinian enclave on Friday, August 5, targeting Islamic Jihad and killing a high-ranking commander of the armed group, according to the latter, who accused Israel of wanting to “trigger a war” against the Palestinian people.
The Israeli army estimates the number of dead at fifteen and stresses that what it calls a “preventive attack” is “not yet over”. The Ministry of Health in Gaza had for its part reported eight deaths, “including a 5-year-old girl”, and one of its leaders, Taysir al-Jabari.
The Israeli army “is striking the Gaza Strip” and this operation targets the Islamic Jihad organization, the army said in statements. Islamic Jihad announced shortly after that one of its leaders had been killed in one of the strikes. “The enemy has started a war against our people and we must collectively defend ourselves and our people, we will not allow our enemy’s policies to undermine our resistance,” Islamic Jihad said in a statement.
Islamic Jihad says it fired ‘more than 100 rockets’ in ‘response’
Rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, according to AFP journalists. This was confirmed by the Islamic Jihad group when it announced that it had fired “more than 100 rockets” from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. It would be his “first response” to the Israeli strikes.
“As a first response to the assassination of Commander-in-Chief Taysir al-Jabari and his martyred brothers, the Al-Quds brigades blanketed Tel Aviv, the central cities (of Israel) and areas around Gaza with plus 100 rockets,” the brigades said in a statement.
At the same time, the Israeli army indicated that the alarm sirens sounded in the Israeli localities of Yavné and Lachish, in the north of the Palestinian territory.
An Israeli operation against “an immediate threat”
“Israel conducted a precise counterterrorism operation against an immediate threat,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on television after the strikes. “Islamic Jihad is a proxy for Iran that wants to destroy the State of Israel and kill innocent Israelis. (…) We will do whatever it takes to defend our people.”
A few hours earlier, several Palestinians were also injured in strikes in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, according to the health ministry of Hamas, an Islamist organization in power.
Witnesses and Palestinian security sources told AFP they saw several strikes, including one in central Gaza City.
These raids come after the arrest on Monday 1er August, of an Islamic Jihad leader in the occupied West Bank, Bassem Saadi. The Israeli authorities feared reprisal attacks from the Gaza Strip, an enclave controlled by the Islamists of Hamas where Islamic Jihad is well established.
Shortly before the strikes, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz claimed that Israeli forces were “preparing for any action to be taken on all fronts, in the northern, central and southern regions of Israel.” . “To our enemies, and especially to the leaders of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, I would like to emphasize: your time is running out. The threat (to southern Israel) will be eliminated one way or another,” he said. he said, according to a statement.
Closure of border crossings
The Israeli army on Tuesday ordered the closure of border crossings, forcing thousands of Gazans, holders of work permits in Israel, to stay at home. The shutdown has slowed the delivery of diesel fuel, usually trucked in from Egypt or Israel and needed to power Gaza’s power plant.
This single power plant risks closing due to a lack of fuel, its director warned on Thursday.
About 50 people who normally leave the enclave daily for treatment have also been affected, according to the World Health Organization.
Since 2007, the Jewish state has imposed a strict blockade on Gaza, an enclave of 2.3 million inhabitants plagued by poverty and unemployment.
Israel and armed groups in Gaza have fought several wars, the last of which was in May 2021. Israel’s last strikes on Gaza were on July 19, when the Israeli army targeted a Hamas position after a gunshot in coming from the enclave.
With AFP & Reuters