Air battle between Gaza militants and Israel enters second day

There was more fire between Israeli military and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning, as the largest fire in the Gaza Strip in a year entered its second day.

Israel has targeted rocket factories and warehouses it says belong to Islamic Jihad, the second-largest militant group in Gaza after Hamas, and Palestinian militants firing at Israeli towns closest to the border of the territory Rockets and mortars.

A Palestinian was killed in an overnight strike, bringing the total Palestinian death toll to 11, including a 5-year-old girl, while two Israelis were wounded while seeking asylum on Friday, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Most of the projectiles entering Israeli territory appear to have been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defenses, although a rocket hit an Israeli community near the Gaza border on Saturday morning, injuring a civilian, according to reports. fall in open areas. Israeli media reports. By noon, in the Israeli port city of Ashdod, rockets were alerted north.

Despite early mediation by international actors, including the United Nations, there appears to be no imminent ceasefire. Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Politburo for Gaza’s main Islamist militant group Hamas, said he had spent the night talking with officials in Egypt and Qatar, as well as with the United Nations.

The fighting began Friday afternoon when Israel launched airstrikes in what it said was a pre-emptive attempt to thwart an attack by Islamic Jihad from Gaza after tensions between Israel and the militant group continued for nearly a week.

Israel’s arrest of a senior commander of the group in the West Bank this week led its Gaza leadership to threaten retaliation, followed by an Israeli airstrike on Friday that killed Taysir al-Quds, a senior leader of the militant group Quds Force. Jabari. Islamic Jihad wing.

On Saturday morning, Israeli military spokesman Ran Kochav told Israel Public Radio that the fighting was likely to continue for at least a week and that no negotiations were taking place.

But overnight, the militants narrowed the range of the rockets, mainly targeting areas near Gaza rather than the northern cities they had initially targeted.

Analysts say a reset could prevent further escalation — like Hamas’s decision to stay on the sidelines of the fight.

Islamic Jihad, the second smaller Gaza militia group, sometimes operates independently of Hamas, which has not always supported the minor group’s rocket war with Israel, especially in 2019.

Israeli officials have said they are only targeting Islamic Jihad after they said it was about to fire anti-tank missiles at Israeli targets on Friday afternoon.

To underscore the point, the Israeli military also announced that it had arrested 19 members of Islamic Jihad in an overnight raid in the occupied West Bank.

Israel has also closed public beaches along its coastline north of Gaza, where further rocket attacks are expected.

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