More than 100 rockets fired at Israel after deadly strikes in Gaza

Israeli forces continued to shell Gaza and Islamic Jihad sent rockets towards the Jewish state in the early hours of Saturday.

By 4:30 a.m. (local time), warnings of Israeli airstrikes and strikes had subsided, at least temporarily.

Friday, more than 100 rockets were launched by the Al-Quds brigades towards Israeli soil, shots presented by this armed wing of Islamic Jihad as a first answer the Israeli strikes that notably killed one of the leaders of the group, Tayssir Al-Jabari.

Warning sirens sounded in several localities in southern Israel, but no information was immediately available about possible victims.

The Israeli army estimated that it had killed 15 Islamic Jihad fighters in Gaza in its strikes which began in the afternoon and continued into the evening.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza reported ten dead, including a five-year-old girland 55 wounded.

A preemptive attack

The Jewish state presented its raids as a preemptive attack against Islamic Jihad, according to an Israeli military spokesman, Richard Hecht.

Israel conducted a precise counterterrorism operation against an immediate threatIsraeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on television. Islamic Jihad is an Iranian proxy that wants to destroy the State of Israel and kill innocent Israelis. […] We will do whatever it takes to defend our peoplehe added.

The first salvo of strikes notably targeted a residential area in the center of Gaza City. Journalists from theAFP saw the injured being evacuated by the emergency services, firefighters working to put out fires and residents crowding into morgues.

Palestinians hold placards bearing the likeness of Islamic Jihad commander Tayssir Al-Jabari, killed in an Israeli airstrike.

Photo: dpa via getty images / ABBAS MOMANI

Hundreds of people attended Tayssir Al-Jabari’s funeral in Gaza in the evening, a team from theAFP.

The Zionist enemy started this aggression and must expect us to fight relentlesslysaid the secretary general of the Islamic Jihad, Ziad al-Nakhala, in an interview with the Lebanese television Al-Mayadeen, in Tehran, the Iranian capital.

There will be no red lines in this battle […] Tel-Aviv and other Zionist cities will be targets of resistance missiles. »

A quote from Ziad al-Nakhala, Secretary General of Islamic Jihad

The raids on the territory of 2.3 million inhabitants, under Israeli blockade, come after the arrest Monday of an Islamic Jihad leader in the occupied West Bank, Bassem Saadi.

Since then, the Israeli authorities have feared reprisal attacks from Gaza, an enclave controlled by the Islamists of Hamas and where Islamic Jihad is well established.

The army had deployed reinforcements nearby, including tanks; roads had been blocked and trains cancelled.

To our enemies, and particularly to the leaders of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, I would like to insist: your time is running out. »

A quote from Benny Gantz, Israeli Minister of Defense

In Ramallah in the West Bank, the Palestinian presidency condemned Israeli aggression and held the Jewish state responsible for the dangerous climbing.

An Egyptian mediation

In the meantime, Egypt is trying to mediate to calm the tensions.

An Egyptian security source told theAFP that Cairo’s mediation efforts had been underway since Friday. We hope to reach a consensus for a return to calm as soon as possible.the source said.

Israeli army spokesman Richard Hecht earlier referred to Egyptian mediation when he told reporters about the shelling, without giving details.

An Egyptian source said for his part that an Islamic Jihad delegation could go to Cairo on Saturday. Hamas was also present during the talks with Egypt.

Its leader, Ismaïl Haniyeh, based in Doha, spoke with the Egyptian intelligence services about the violence, according to a statement from Hamas.

Egypt is historically a great mediator between Israel and the armed groups present in Gaza: last May, the country negotiated the ceasefire which ended an 11-day conflict.

The strict blockade of Gaza

Since 2007, Israel has imposed a strict blockade on Gaza, a territory plagued by poverty and unemployment.

The Israeli army on Tuesday ordered the closure of border crossings, which forced thousands of Gazans, holders of work permits in Israel, to stay at home. This closure has slowed the delivery of diesel, needed to power the Gaza power plant.

This single power plant is in danger of closing due to a lack of fuel, its director had indicated on Thursday.

The 50 people who leave the enclave daily for treatment have also been affected, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Israel’s latest strikes on Gaza targeted a Hamas position on July 19 after a shot from the enclave.

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