Gaza: at least 15 dead following Israeli strikes

Fifteen people, including a leader of the armed group Islamic Jihad and a child according to the Palestinians, were killed Friday in Israeli strikes targeting the Palestinian organization in the Gaza Strip.


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Lhe Israeli army estimated on Friday that 15 people had been killed in its strikes on the Gaza Strip, presented as targeting the Palestinian Islamist organization Islamic Jihad. During this “preventive attack” against the Islamic Jihad and which is “not yet finished”, 15 people died, estimated an Israeli military spokesman, Richard Hecht, during an online discussion with journalists.

The strikes on the Gaza Strip targeted the armed group Islamic Jihad, which in return accused the Jewish state of wanting to “start a war” against the Palestinian people. Islamic Jihad announced shortly after that one of its leaders was killed in one of the strikes.

“The enemy has started a war against our people and we must collectively defend ourselves and our people, we will not allow our enemy’s policies to undermine our resistance,” Islamic Jihad said in a statement.

Several casualties among civilians

Several Palestinians were injured in strikes in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, according to the health ministry of Hamas, an Islamist organization in power. Witnesses and Palestinian security sources told AFP they saw several strikes, including one in central Gaza City.

The raids come after the arrest on Monday of an Islamic Jihad leader in the occupied West Bank, Bassem Saadi. The Israeli authorities feared reprisal attacks from the Gaza Strip, an enclave controlled by the Islamists of Hamas where Islamic Jihad is well established.

Shortly before the strikes, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz claimed that Israeli forces were “preparing for any action to be taken on all fronts, in the northern, central and southern regions of Israel”. .

“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. The threat (to southern Israel) will be eliminated one way or another,” he said, according to a statement.

Blockade

The Israeli army on Tuesday ordered the closure of border crossings, forcing thousands of Gazans, holders of work permits in Israel, to stay at home. The shutdown slowed the delivery of diesel fuel, usually trucked in from Egypt or Israel and needed to power Gaza’s power plant.

This single power plant risks closing due to a lack of fuel, its director warned on Thursday.

About 50 people who normally leave the enclave daily for treatment have also been affected, according to the World Health Organization.

Since 2007, the Jewish state has imposed a strict blockade on Gaza, an enclave of 2.3 million inhabitants undermined by poverty and unemployment.



Israel and armed groups in Gaza have fought several wars, the last of which was in May 2021. Israel’s last strikes on Gaza were on July 19. The Israeli army had targeted a Hamas position after a shot from the enclave.


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