The worst escalation of violence has occurred in Gaza since the war’s start in 2021 as a result of Israel’s airstrikes on the territory for a second day, the attack drew retaliation from an armed Palestinian group.
In a public speech on Saturday, Israeli army spokesman Ran Kochav stated that his troops were getting ready for operations that would last a week in the disputed territory. The two-day attack claimed the lives of at least 11 people, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Israel claims to have begun a “pre-emptive” military action against the Islamic Jihad organization. At least 15 fighters including a senior commander in Gaza have been killed, according to estimates from the Israeli army.
Israel expanded its operation against Islamic Jihad on Saturday morning. Her army confirmed the arrest of 19 people in the occupied West Bank who are believed to be members of the group.
According to Israeli army spokesperson Kochav, the Israeli response in Gaza was not intended to drag the Hamas group into the ongoing conflict.
Kochav went on to say that the Israeli army was targeting Islamic Jihad because the group lacked organization and command, making it difficult to understand its decision-making process.
Taysir al-Jabari, a crucial member of the armed group, was assassinated on Friday during an Israeli attack on a structure in the west of Gaza City. In addition, “a five-year-old girl” was said to have died in the attack, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
The five-year-old girl, was killed in a missile attack alongside her father on their way to a shopping Centre.
A family member of the deceased was quoted saying. “Her mother Rasha is in great shock. She lost her daughter and her husband in a blink of an eye and left behind three children. We are all shocked. What is the fault of an innocent five-year-old girl to be killed in this way?”
Author and activist Rana Shubair, who resides in the western part of the Gaza Strip’s al-Remal neighborhood, claimed to have heard “four to five loud bangs” when Israel attacked the nearby Palestine Tower.
In the middle of the night, Shubair said, “I found myself waking up running, wondering what happened.”
“There was panic in the area, and people were fleeing.” “You can imagine… the terror that this caused for the people who lived in the building,” she added. “There were children playing… this was something completely unexpected for us.”
Islamic Jihad declared that the initial Israeli bombardment on Friday amounted to a “declaration of war”
The Islamic Jihad declared in a statement that “the enemy has started a war targeting our people. We all have a duty to defend ourselves and our people, and we must not let the enemy get away with its actions that are intended to undermine the resistance and national steadfastness.”
Senior Hamas official Ghazi Hamad called the most recent attack “a brutal crime, a massacre done by the Israeli occupation against our people.” Hamas rules the Gaza Strip.
For 14 years, Israel and Egypt have maintained a strict blockade of Gaza, which critics believe amounts to collective punishment of the region’s two million Palestinian residents.