The conflict between Israeli airstrikes and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip has intensified, resulting in the deaths of 25 people
The conflict between Israeli airstrikes and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip has intensified, resulting in the deaths of 25 people, including women and children. On Thursday, a fourth militant commander was killed in the attacks.
Despite Egypt’s efforts to negotiate a cease-fire, rocket fire from Gaza towards southern Israel has continued.
This is the most violent period of conflict between the two sides in months, occurring during a time of escalating tensions and increased violence in the occupied West Bank over the past year. The situation is concerning and highlights the need for a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict.
Militant Commander Killed
On Thursday, the Israeli military conducted airstrikes against the Islamic Jihad militant group, targeting the rocket launching force led by a senior commander, Ali Ghali. The strike hit Ghali’s apartment and resulted in his death, as well as the deaths of two other militants who have not been claimed by any group yet.
The rest of the building was left undamaged. Military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari stated that the apartment was targeted with precision and expressed hope that this would weaken the Islamic Jihad’s rocket capabilities.
Early in the morning, a building on the top floor of a Qatari-built residential complex in the southern Gaza Strip was hit by airstrikes. This caused damage to three other buildings in the area. Hamad City is a big place with lots of tall buildings and many different homes in it.
The strike understandably caused a lot of panic and fear among the residents, as debris and shattered glass were scattered all over the streets.
Abdullah Hemaid, who lives across from the targeted building, shared how his children were crying and how he couldn’t see anything because of the dust, broken glass, and debris.
The Islamic Jihad has identified Ghali as one of their commanders who were responsible for their rocket squad and a member of the decision-making body of their armed group. The group has stated that it will only stop its attacks if Israel agrees to halt targeted killings of their fighters.
Egypt had announced that they had brokered a ceasefire between the two sides after a day of intense fighting on Wednesday, which involved rockets being launched on southern and central Israel and airstrikes on Gaza. However, the violence continued into Thursday, and it was unclear whether progress had been made in the ceasefire talks.
The Israeli military claims that it has been targeting militants with precision strikes in its attacks on around 150 targets. However, several children, including a 4-year-old, were also killed in the strikes.
According to a military spokesperson named Hagari, around 25% of the rockets that were fired during the current fighting landed in Gaza. This led to the loss of life of at least four individuals, including a young girl who was only 10 years old, two teenagers aged 16, and a 51-year-old man.
On Thursday, efforts to broker a ceasefire were still ongoing, with a senior member of the Islamic Jihad political bureau, Mohamad al-Hindi, arriving in Cairo to discuss the details. Israeli officials chose not to comment on this.
Israel had inflicted significant damage on the militants: Netanyahu
In a televised speech on Wednesday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that Israel had inflicted significant damage on the militants. However, he also warned that the conflict was not yet over.
The initial airstrikes by Israel on Tuesday resulted in the deaths of three senior Islamic Jihad militants who were at home, as well as at least 10 civilians, most of them women, and children. The Israeli military has stated that their attacks were aimed at the infrastructure of the Islamic Jihad militants in the coastal area and that they would investigate any civilian casualties.
Following the attacks on Tuesday, there was a continuous firing of rockets on Wednesday, which resulted in air-raid alarms being sounded in southern and central Israel. These rockets caused damage to a few buildings, but fortunately, the locals had evacuated, and there were no casualties.
The Israeli military reported that more than 500 rockets were fired toward Israel, but most of them were either intercepted by Israel’s missile defense system or fell in unpopulated areas.
Airstrikes Are In Response
Israel has stated that their airstrikes are in response to many rockets fired by Islamic Jihad last week, which was their retaliation for the death of one of their members. The high number of civilian casualties, including the wives and children of two militant commanders, as well as a dentist and his family who lived in one of the targeted buildings, has drawn international criticism for Israel.
Human Rights Groups Accused Israel of Committing War Crimes
In previous conflicts, human rights groups have accused Israel of committing war crimes due to the large number of civilian deaths. Israel has countered by stating that it takes measures to avoid civilian casualties and holds militant groups accountable as they operate in densely populated residential areas. Israel also argues that militant groups indiscriminately launch rockets at Israeli communities.
The recent fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad has been the most intense in months and has increased the risk of a full-scale war. Despite this, Israel has avoided attacking Hamas, the more powerful militant group that rules Gaza, and has only targeted Islamic Jihad.
Will Continue Firing Rockets: Islamic Jihad
Egypt has reportedly tried to broker a ceasefire, but Islamic Jihad has said it will continue firing rockets. Israel’s air defense systems have intercepted many of the rockets, but civilians have still been killed or injured.
Schools in southern Israel have remained closed, and residents have been told to stay near bomb shelters. Additionally, in the West Bank, there has been an increase in violence, with a 30-year-old man reportedly killed by Israeli troops in a raid on Wednesday.
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