Israel continues strikes on Gaza; Islamic Jihad says 100 rockets fired at Israel; Egypt mediating end to escalation in violence

AP , AFP , Friday 5 Aug 2022

Israel resumed air strikes on the Gaza Strip Friday evening hours after a wave of strikes killed more than 10 people, including a senior Islamic Jihad leader, and wounding tens; Islamic Jihad says 100 rockets fired at Israel in retaliation; Egypt says it continues mediation between the two sides to end escalation in violence

Israel strikes Gaza
Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza City, Friday, Aug. 5, 2022. Palestinian officials say Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have killed several people, including a senior militant, and wounded 40 others. AFP


The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad group said it fired more than 100 rockets at Israel on Friday, as an "initial response" to deadly Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

"As an initial response to the killing of senior commander Taysir al-Jabari and his brethren martyrs... the Al-Quds Brigade covered Tel Aviv, central cities and areas surrounding Gaza with more than 100 rockets," Islamic Jihad's military wing said in a statement.

In the early evening hours of Friday, Israel's Kan TV showed at least two rockets fired from Gaza being intercepted as air raid sirens went off in central and southern Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid says Israel has ``zero tolerance'' for attacks from Gaza but ``no interest'' in broader battle.

Palestinian protesters in the West Bank carry pictures of slained Islamic Jihad leader after Israeli strikes on Gaza. AFP


"The [Israeli army] is continuing to target Palestinian Islamic Jihad military targets throughout the Gaza Strip," an Israeli army statement said earlier.

Palestinian witnesses reported seeing multiple strikes, including one east of Gaza City.

During the day, Israel said it was targeting the Islamic Jihad militant group amid days of heightened tensions following the arrest of a senior Palestinian militant in the occupied West Bank earlier this week.

Gaza is ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas and is home to more than 2 million Palestinians.

An Egyptian official told Extra News later on Friday that Egypt is conducting intensive communications between Israel and Palestinian factions to end the currect escalation in the Gaza Strip in order to preserve the 2021 ceasefire.

On Friday afternoon, a blast could be heard in Gaza City, where smoke poured out of the seventh floor of a tall building.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said at least 10 people were killed, including a 5-year-old girl, and at least 44 were wounded.

Islamic Jihad said a Gaza commander, Taiseer al-Jabari, was among those killed.

The group said it was mourning "the great jihadist commander Tayseer al-Jabari 'Abu Mahmud', who was killed in a Zionist assassination in Gaza City".

"The Zionist enemy started this aggression and it must expect us to fight non-stop... There will be no truce after this bombing," Ziad al-Nakhala, the leader of Islamic Jihad, told Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen television channel from Tehran, where he has been visiting in recent days.

"There are no red lines in this battle... Tel Aviv will also be one of the targets of the resistance's missiles... as will all Zionist cities," he said.

The Israeli military said it was targeting Islamic Jihad in an operation named ``Breaking Dawn.''  It also announced a ``special situation'' on the home front, with schools closed and limits placed on other activities in communities within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the border.

Israel had closed roads around Gaza earlier this week and sent reinforcements to the border as it braced for a revenge attack after the arrest of the Islamic Jihad leader in the occupied West Bank on Monday. A teenage member of the group was killed in a gunbattle between the Israeli troops and Palestinian militants.

In recent weeks, the Israeli army has carried out a crackdown on Palestinians across the occupied West Bank, killing and injuring tens of youths and arresting tens others.

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