Israeli strike kills top militant in Gaza, triggers rocket barrage

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.

Health officials in the Islamist-controlled enclave of Hamas said the Israeli bombing killed 10 people, including a 5-year-old girl, and injured 79 others. The Israeli military estimates that 15 militants were killed in the operation.

Both Israel and Islamic Jihad have confirmed that Friday’s strike against a building in western Gaza City killed the supreme leader of the militant group Taisir al-Jabari.

Rocket launches and Israeli attacks continued through the night, risking a repeat of the 11-day conflict in May 2021, devastating Gaza and forcing thousands of Israelis to rush to their air-raid shelters.

Air raid sirens sounded throughout the night in several parts of southern and central Israel, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The military initially confirmed at least 70 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, with 11 falling into the Gaza Strip, dozens intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system and others opened. He said he landed on the spot.

Egypt, a historic mediator between Israeli and Gaza militants, is seeking mediation and could receive a delegation of Islamic Jihad late Saturday, Egyptian officials said in Gaza’s AFP. told to

Hamas has fought four wars with Israel since seizing control of Gaza in 2007, including the conflict last May. Islamic Jihad is another group, affiliated with Hamas but operating independently.

The two sides exchanged fire for several days without Hamas entering the fray.

Gaza City resident Abdullah Al-Araisi said the situation was “very tense”. “The country is devastated. Enough wars. Our generation has lost its future,” he told AFP.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad are considered terrorist organizations by many in the West.

Flames erupted from buildings in Gaza City as wounded Palestinians were evacuated by a medical squad.

Five-year-old Alaa Kaddum had a pink ribbon in her hair and a scar on her forehead from her father carrying the body for the funeral.

Israeli military spokesman Richard Hecht said it “assumes about 15 people were killed in action” in Gaza, referring to Palestinian fighters.

UN Middle East envoy Tor Wensland said he was “deeply concerned” and warned that escalation would be “very dangerous”.

The strike comes four days after Israel closed two border crossings with Gaza and restricted the movement of Israeli civilians living near the border, citing security concerns.

Israel has conducted a near-constant wave of raids within the West Bank since mid-March in response to deadly attacks on Israeli civilians.

Palestinians, including patients, and those with Israeli work permits have been barred from leaving the Gaza Strip since Tuesday, and the passage of goods has also been closed.

first published as Israeli strike kills top militant in Gaza, triggers rocket barrage

Israeli strike kills top militant in Gaza, triggers rocket barrage

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