Israeli airstrike kills 2nd prime Islamic Jihad commander

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — An Israeli airstrike killed a senior commander within the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, the fighters stated Sunday, their second chief to be slain amid an escalating cross-border battle.

The killing late Saturday of Khaled Mansour, who led the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad’s operations within the southern Gaza Strip, got here a day after one other Israeli strike killed the militant’s commander within the north. Already, the preventing has killed some 30 Palestinians and seen rockets fired towards Israel within the worst violence between Israel and Palestinian militants for the reason that finish of an 11-day warfare in 2021.

In the meantime, tensions might escalate as Jews mark a holy day that can see ultranationalist Israeli lawmakers go to a delicate holy web site in Jerusalem, recognized to Jews because the Temple Mount and to Muslims because the Noble Sanctuary. Such visits is usually a frequent flashpoint for violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Al-Quds Brigades of Islamic Jihad confirmed Sunday that the airstrike within the southern Gaza metropolis of Rafah killed Mansour and two fellow militants. The militants stated the strike additionally killed 5 civilians, together with a baby and three ladies, because it flattened a number of properties.

Earlier than that strike, Gaza’s Well being Ministry stated 24 folks had been killed within the preventing to this point within the coastal strip, together with six youngsters. Israel estimates its airstrikes have killed about 15 militants. They’ve but to supply an up to date determine after the Rafah strike.

Militants from Islamic Jihad continued firing rockets towards Israel and the Israeli navy continued airstrikes on Gaza, although the depth of the alternate appeared to lower early Sunday.

The preventing started with Israel’s killing of a senior Islamic Jihad commander in a wave of strikes Friday that Israel stated have been meant to forestall an imminent assault.

Hamas, the bigger militant group that guidelines Gaza, appeared to stay on the sidelines of the battle for now, preserving its response restricted. Israel and Hamas fought a warfare barely a yr in the past, certainly one of 4 main conflicts and several other smaller battles during the last 15 years that exacted a staggering toll on the impoverished territory’s 2 million Palestinian residents.

The Israeli navy stated an errant rocket fired by Palestinian militants killed civilians, together with youngsters, late Saturday within the city of Jabaliya, in northern Gaza. The navy stated it investigated the incident and concluded “undoubtedly” that it was attributable to a misfire on the a part of Islamic Jihad. There was no official Palestinian touch upon the incident.

A Palestinian medical employee who spoke on situation of anonymity as they’d not been granted permission to talk to journalists stated the blast killed at the very least six folks, together with three youngsters.

Israeli airstrikes Saturday killed a 75-year-old lady and wounded six others as they have been making ready to go to a marriage. Airstrikes have additionally destroyed a number of homes within the Gaza Strip, a few of them belonging to Islamic Jihad members.

The lone energy plant in Gaza floor to a halt at midday Saturday on account of an absence of gas. Israel has stored its crossing factors into Gaza closed since Tuesday. With the brand new disruption, Gazans can use solely 4 hours of electrical energy a day, growing their reliance on personal mills and deepening the territory’s continual energy disaster amid peak summer season warmth.

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