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Israeli and Palestinian militants shoot out in massive Gaza escalation

Israel hit Gaza with airstrikes on Saturday, and Palestinian militant groups retaliated with a barrage of rockets in the worst escalation of violence since last year’s war.

Israel said it had been forced to launch a “preemptive” operation against Islamic Jihad, which claimed it was planning an imminent offensive after days of tension along the Gaza border.

Earlier on Saturday, Israel expanded its operations against Islamic Jihad, a group affiliated with Hamas but often acting independently.

Both Israel and Islamic Jihad have confirmed that a major militant leader, Taisir al-Jabari, was killed in Friday’s strike against a building in western Gaza City.

Rocket launches and Israeli attacks continued early on Saturday, with an 11-day conflict in May 2021 devastating Gaza and forcing thousands of Israelis to rush to air-raid shelters. .

“Israel has no interest in the wider conflict in Gaza, but it will not hesitate to do so,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a nationally televised address on Friday.

Officials in border areas have urged people to stay close to shelters, and shelters have also opened in the commercial hub of Tel Aviv.

Hamas has fought four wars with Israel since seizing control of Gaza in 2007, including the conflict last May.

Islamic Jihad intensified in 2019 after Israel killed Jabari’s predecessor, Baha Abu al-Ata.

Hamas’ moves amid the current violence could prove crucial in judging its severity, and the group will remain calm to improve the economic situation in the territory. We are facing pressure from some.

“The country is devastated. Enough wars. Our generation has lost its future,” he told AFP.

– 5 year old girl –

On Friday, the Ministry of Health reported that “a five-year-old girl who was targeted by the Israeli occupation” had been killed.

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Gaza City for the funerals of those killed in the airstrike.

Israeli tanks line the border and the military said it was ramping up its forces on Thursday.

The move followed the arrest in the occupied West Bank of two senior members of Islamic Jihad, including Bassem al-Saadi, whom Israel accused of orchestrating the latest attack.

Islamic Jihad did not fire rockets after Saadi’s arrest, but Israel claimed throughout the week that the group had promised to seek retribution.

first published as Israeli and Palestinian militants shoot out in massive Gaza escalation

Israeli and Palestinian militants shoot out in massive Gaza escalation

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