Israeli warplanes bomb Gaza for second day

Sole power plant runs out of fuel following blockade

A fireball erupts as a result of an Israeli air strike on a building in Gaza City on August 6, 2022.(Photos: AFP)
GAZA, Palestinian Territories — Israeli warplanes have pounded the besieged Gaza Strip for a second day following a wave of air strikes on the coastal enclave that killed at least 12 people, including a five-year-old girl, and a commander of a Palestinian resistance group, Al Jazeera reported.اضافة اعلان

Health authorities in the Palestinian enclave put the number of deaths at 15, adding that more than 120 others have been wounded, according to AFP.

The bombings, which began on Friday with Israel’s targeted killing of a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, continued throughout the night.

Shortly before noon on Saturday, Israel stepped up air strikes on Gaza, flattening a west Gaza City two-story structure and damaging surrounding homes. Women and children rushed out of the area.

Israeli attacks on Gaza “have not stopped since the early morning hours,” according to an Al Jazeera reporter on the ground, who added that Israel is “targeting homes”.

Israeli occupation forces said Saturday its air strikes on Gaza could last a week, stoking fears of a repeat of May 2021, when Israel waged an 11-day war on Gaza.

Power plant shut down
Also on Saturday, the strip’s only power plant shut down after running out of fuel, the Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported, citing the Palestinian Energy Authority, five days after Israel closed its commercial crossing with Gaza.

Palestinians inspect the ruins of a building destroyed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on August 6, 2022.

Israel’s closure of its crossings with Gaza came as the military braced for reprisals following the arrest of two senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad members in the occupied West Bank.

The group did not retaliate until Israel launched pre-emptive air strikes on the enclave Friday, prompting fighters to fire rockets towards Israel.

“The power plant in Gaza has stopped due to the fuel shortage,” said Mohammed Thabet, spokesman for the electricity company.

The electricity supply is expected to plummet to just four hours a day, Thabet said.

Diesel for the power plant is usually trucked in from Egypt or Israel, which has maintained a blockade of the enclave since 2007.

In a statement earlier on Saturday, Gaza’s electricity company said the shutdown “will affect all public utilities and crucial installations and exacerbate the humanitarian situation”.

Gaza’s 2.3 million residents experience regular power shortages and last week received only an average of 10 hours of electricity per day, according to data from the UN’s humanitarian agency OCHA.

Escalating violence on Gaza
The latest round of Israeli violence on Gaza was sparked by the arrest this week of a senior Islamic Jihad commander in the occupied West Bank, part of a month-long Israeli military operation in the territory.

Citing a “security threat”, Israel then sealed roads around the Gaza Strip and on Friday killed Taysir Al-Jabari, a commander of the Al-Quds Brigades, in a targeted strike.

Smoke and fire rise above Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza strip, during an Israeli air strike, on August 5, 2022. 

In overnight raids, Israeli occupation forces detained at least 21 Palestinians in raids across the occupied West Bank, including a journalist. Most of the detained are former prisoners, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society.

Bloodstained pink bow
The Palestinian Health Ministry said a five-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman were among those killed in Gaza, and dozens of others were wounded.

Mohammed Abu Salameh, the director of Shifa, Gaza’s main hospital, said medics are facing “acute shortages of medical supplies”.

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 body was carried by her father at her funeral.

Before the latest Israeli violence against Gaza, Israeli occupation forces killed at least 55 Palestinians since late March, mostly in the West Bank, the majority civilians, including Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was covering an Israeli raid in Jenin.

Over the same period, 19 Israelis — both military personnel and non-combatants — have been killed.

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