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Israeli Strikes Kill At Least 10 in Gaza, Palestinian Militants Respond With Rocket Fire

Israeli Strikes Kill At Least 10 in Gaza, Palestinian Militants Respond With Rocket Fire #Israeli #Strikes #Kill #Gaza #Palestinian #Militants #Respond #Rocket #Fire Welcome to TmZ Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:

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TEL AVIVIsrael carried out airstrikes in Gaza on Friday that killed at least 10 people and militants in the Palestinian territory retaliated by launching dozens of rockets, in the deadliest escalation of violence since an 11-day conflict last year.

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The Israeli military said it opened an air campaign against what it said were sites and members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad across Gaza, after the Iran-backed militant group threatened to attack Israel for the arrest of one of its senior members in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli airstrikes killed at least 10 Palestinians, including a 5-year-old girl, and wounded at least 75, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Israel didnt comment on the civilian casualties.

Israels military estimated around 15 Islamic Jihad militants, including a senior commander named

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Tayseer Mahmoud al-Jabari,

had been killed in the strikes.

In response, Islamic Jihad said they fired more than 100 rockets at Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities across central and southern Israel on Friday night, setting off air-raid sirens and sending scores of Israelis running to nearby bomb shelters.

The Israeli army said it identified 74 rockets fired toward Israel, 11 of which fell inside the Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported, and the Israeli military said its Iron Dome missile-defense system intercepted most of the rockets that crossed into Israeli territory.

An injured Palestinian received first aid after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City.

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Photo:

mohammed saber/Shutterstock

Our action in Gaza today was against concrete threats that disturbed daily life in the south, said Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid. Israel is not interested in a wide-scale battle in Gaza, but also does not fear it.

Fridays violent escalation raises fears of a wider conflict after a period of relative quiet on the Israel-Gaza border. After the deadly conflict in May 2021, both Israel and Gaza-ruler Hamas indicated they wanted to avoid an all-out war, but tensions have remained high. The battleground between the Israelis and Palestinians has since shifted from Gaza to parts of the West Bank, where Hamas and Islamic Jihad have developed extensive networks of support.

Hamas, deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. and much of the international community, has fought successive wars with Israel since its takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, which led to a strict blockade by both Israel and Egypt.

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Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz mobilized 25,000 reserve troops, a sign that Israel anticipates the fighting will last at least a few days. Before Israel began its offensive on Friday, Mr. Gantz visited the Gaza border and vowed to end the threat one way or another.

To our enemies, and specifically to the leadership of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, I would like to emphasize: Your time is up, Mr. Gantz said.

The Israeli military said Fridays airstrikes hit two Islamic Jihad antitank units that were on their way to attack Israeli forces.

Tensions spiked this week after Israeli forces arrested senior Islamic Jihad official,

Bassam al-Saadi,

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in the West Bank on Monday night. Islamic Jihads military wing immediately placed its forces on high alert, prompting Israel to shut Gazas border crossings and impose restrictions on movement in Israeli towns near the enclave.

Smoke rose from a building in Gaza City. Israels military estimated around 15 Islamic Jihad militants had been killed so far in the strikes.

Photo:

mohammed saber/Shutterstock

Egyptian and international mediators intervened in an attempt to calm the situation. Islamic Jihad demanded that Israel guarantee Mr. al-Saadis safety, cease nightly raids against the group in the West Bank and release another member of the group who was on a hunger strike, said Islamic Jihad official Daoud Shehab.

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Israeli forces cracked down on Palestinian militants in the West Bank after a deadly wave of attacks, beginning in March, which claimed the lives of over 19 people in Israeli cities. In the northern West Bank, Palestinian militantssome affiliated with Islamic Jihadhave increasingly engaged in gunbattles with the Israeli army.

Hamas has so far refrained from entering the current fight, but said in statements it may decide to do so. In a two-day round of violence in 2019, Hamas stayed on the sidelines while Islamic Jihad exchanged fire with Israel.

In a statement, Hamas leader

Ismail Haniyeh

condemned Mr. Al-Jabaris killing. But he also refrained from saying whether Hamas would take part in the violence.

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We emphasize that matters are still open in all directions and we call to rein in the Zionist aggression against our people, Mr. Haniyeh said, in a statement published by his office.

A building is destroyed after Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City in an escalation of violence.

Photo:

mohammed saber/EPA/Shutterstock

With Palestinian armed groups still recovering from the conflict last year, Israeli security officials said they didnt expect a serious escalation.

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But the rising tensions place Hamas in a conflicted position, torn between a desire to continue rebuilding their strength and the need to maintain their own legitimacy, said Gaza-based political analyst Talal Okal.

Since Israel made the first move here, rather than Islamic Jihad, it is much harder for them to stay on the sidelinesespecially given the assassination that began this, Mr. Okal said.

On Friday evening, thousands of Palestinians joined the funeral of Mr. al-Jabari, the Islamic Jihad commander who was killed in Gaza. Islamic Jihad is one of several Palestinian militant groups active in the Gaza Strip. In 2019, Israel killed another senior commander in the groups armed wing, sparking two days of fighting between the two sides.

Islamic Jihad leader

Ziyad Nakhaleh

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called on all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to join their current battle with Israel.

All the forces of the resistance must be united in the field, Mr. Nakhaleh said in an interview with the Lebanese television network Al-Mayadeen.

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