11 killed as a result of strikes by Israeli occupation military on Gaza

Palestinians inspect the ruins of a collapsed building destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on August 6, 2022. Israel on August 6 hit Gaza with air strikes and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group retaliated with a barrage of rocket fire, in the territory's worst escalation of violence since a war last year. (Photo: AFP)
GAZA , Palestinian Territories — Israel hit Gaza with air strikes on Saturday and a Palestinian militant group retaliated with a barrage of rocket fire, in the territory's worst escalation of violence since a war last year.اضافة اعلان

Health authorities in Gaza, a Palestinian enclave controlled by Hamas, said 11 people have been killed by Israel's bombardment, including a five-year-old girl, with more than 80 others injured. Israel's occupation military estimated that its operation has killed 15 militants.

Early on Saturday Israel broadened its operation against Islamic Jihad, a group that is aligned with Hamas but often acts independently.

The Israeli occupation military announced the arrest of 19 people it said were members of the group in the occupied West Bank, alongside the arrest of one other person. 

Israel and Islamic Jihad have both confirmed the killing of Taysir Al-Jabari, a key leader of the militants, in a Friday strike on a building west of Gaza city. 

Islamic Jihad said that the initial Israeli bombardment amounted to a "declaration of war" before it unleashed a barrage of rockets toward Israel.

The rocket fire and Israeli strikes were continuing on Saturday, risking a repeat of an 11-day conflict in May 2021 that devastated Gaza and forced countless Israelis to rush to bomb shelters.

Daily life in the enclave has reached a standstill, with streets largely deserted and most shops closed. The Israeli air strikes has disrupted some power lines, an AFP reporter said.

Rescuers and firefighters put out a fire amid the destruction following an Israeli air strike on Gaza City, on August 5, 2022. The Israeli military said it launched air strikes on Gaza, which were witnessed by Palestinians in central Gaza City. (Photo: AFP)
"Israel isn't interested in a wider conflict in Gaza, but will not shy away from one either," Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a nationally televised address on Friday. 

Air raid sirens sounded across southern Israel on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

The Israeli military said the vast majority of 160 rockets fired from Gaza had either fallen within the Palestinian territory, or been intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system.

Officials in border areas urged people to stay close to shelters, which have also been opened in the coastal city of Tel Aviv. 

Five-year-old girl
Fireballs and plumes of smoke have billowed out of targets hit in Gaza.

On Friday, the health ministry reported "a five-year-old girl, targeted by the Israeli occupation," was among those killed. 

The girl, Alaa Kaddum, had a pink bow in her hair and a wound on her forehead, as her father carried her body at her funeral.

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Gaza City on Friday for the funerals of Jabari and others killed in the air strikes.

Israeli occupation military spokesman Richard Hecht said "we are assuming about 15 killed in action" in Gaza, referring to Palestinian combatants.

Israeli tanks were lined up along the border, after the military said Thursday it was reinforcing its troops. 

The strikes come four days after Israel closed its two border crossings with Gaza and restricted the movement of Israeli civilians living near the frontier, citing security concerns.

The measures followed the arrest in the occupied West Bank of two senior members of Islamic Jihad, including Bassem Al-Saadi, who Israel accuses of orchestrating recent attacks. 

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