Israel launched a wave of airstrikes in Gaza, killing at least nine people, including a militant commander and a five-year-old child.
Tel Aviv is now ready for retaliatory missile attacks, as the chances of another war in the area seem more likely.
Israel said it was targeting the Islamic Jihad militant group after days of heightened tensions.
Pressure grew over the arrest of a senior militant in the occupied West Bank earlier this week.
Palestinian officials said at least 44 were injured in today’s strikes. An Israeli spokesman said it had killed 15 terrorists, but did not have a final casualty total.
‘The IDF is currently striking in the Gaza Strip. A special situation has been declared on the Israeli home front,’ Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
Israel’s Army Radio reported that military reservists had already been called up for the region near Gaza, which has been ruled by the militant Hamas movement since 2007.
A Palestinian Islamic Jihad official confirmed that Tayseer al-Jaabari, whom the Israeli military described as the main coordinator between Islamic Jihad and Hamas, was killed in the strikes, which hit several targets around the densely populated strip .
Smoke rose from a building where al-Jabaari was apparently killed and glass and debris were scattered across the street amid the sound of ambulances racing to other locations.
The strikes came after Israel arrested Bassam al-Saadi, a senior leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, during a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin earlier this week.
It then closed all Gaza crossings and some nearby roads for fear of reprisal attacks from the group, further restricting Palestinian movement.
“The goal of this operation is to eliminate a concrete threat against the citizens of Israel and the citizens living next to the Gaza Strip,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement.
In an interview on Al Mayadeen television, a pro-Iranian Lebanese channel, Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala vowed revenge for the strikes.
“There are no red lines in this battle and Tel Aviv will fall under the rockets of resistance, like all Israeli cities,” he said.
The Israeli military spokesman said authorities expected there to be rocket attacks against central Israel, but said Iron Dome anti-missile batteries were operational.
He said plans to allow fuel trucks into Gaza to keep the area’s only power plant operational were dropped at the last minute because intelligence picked up on movements that indicated attacks on Israeli targets were imminent.
The attacks came as Egyptian officials sought to mediate between Israel and Hamas.
Gaza, a narrow strip of land where about 2.3 million people live in an area of 140 square kilometers, has been a constant point of conflict since Hamas took control of the area in 2007.
‘We have not yet been able to reconstruct what Israel destroyed a year ago. People didn’t have the chance to breathe, and here Israel attacks again for no reason,’ said Mansour Mohammad-Ahmed, 43, a farmer from central Gaza.
Israel has fought five conflicts with Gaza since 2009, the latest an 11-day war in May 2021, when Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel.
The militant group killed 13 people and Israel hit the strip with airstrikes that killed at least 250 Palestinians.
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Israeli attacks on Gaza kill nine people, including the commander of the Islamic Jihad
Source link Israeli attacks on Gaza kill nine people, including the commander of the Islamic Jihad