Senior Islamic Jihad commander killed in Israeli airstrike, say Palestinian authorities | World News

Officials say at least eight people have died, including a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), as a result of Israeli air strikes.

An explosion was heard in Gaza City on Friday and smoke billowed from the seventh floor of a high-rise building.

The Palestinian The Health Ministry said 40 people were injured, a senior commander of the jihadist organization and a 5-year-old child among those killed.

The strike comes after days of tension following the arrest of a senior fighter in the occupied West Bank on Monday.

Israeli has closed the roads around Gaza earlier this week and sent reinforcements to the border, in case of retaliation.

“The IDF (Israel Defense Federation) is currently attacking in the Gaza Strip. A special situation has been declared on Israel’s home ground,” the Israeli military said in a statement.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the IDF said the official killed was Tayseer al-Jaabari.

According to the IDF, he is “responsible for numerous terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians” and has shared a photo of himself on social media.
The IDF shared an image of the PIJ fighter who was targeted. Photo: Twitter / IDF

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that “Israel’s enemies, who have begun to escalate against Gaza and committed new crimes, must pay the price and bear full responsibility for it”.

In a statement aired on Al Mayadeen TV, a pro-Iranian Lebanese channel, the leader of the Islamic Jihad group Ziad Al Nakhala vowed to retaliate against the attacks.

“There are no red lines in this battle and Tel Aviv will fall within the range of anti-missile missiles, as well as all Israeli cities,” he said.

Tensions increase the likelihood of a second war for years to come

Tensions have been running high around Gaza for days, following Israel’s arrest of the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the West Bank earlier this week.

The Israeli side has conducted an 80 km long closed and locked area to prevent retaliation by PIJ – this gives the IDF time to move military assets into position, to prepare for the operation. today.

Israel said efforts to get the PIJ down had been exhausted, so it decided to act first and launch “Operation Breaking Dawn”.

The attacks on a high-rise building killed several PIJ fighters, including the commander of the Islamic Jihad in northern Gaza. A five-year-old child was also among those killed, and more than 40 were injured.

Israeli officials are clarifying that this was an attack on a PIJ target, not Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza. That message was delivered to Hamas through reverse channels.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad said it would respond and warned that Tel Aviv, just north of Gaza, would be a target.

Hamas, which Israel says it wants to avoid, must now decide what it does next. If the group joins forces with the PIJ and fires missiles at Israel, things could escalate very quickly and we could be looking at a second war in many years.

Senior IDF commanders have hinted to me that their objectives have been achieved, however they warn of further strikes if they receive intelligence that they are preparing for attacks. attack on Israel.

Most will be suspended for the next 24 hours.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited communities near Gaza earlier on Friday, saying authorities were preparing “actions that will remove the threat from the area,” without elaborating. details.

“We will work with inner resilience and outer strength to restore daily life in the south of Israel,” he said.

“We do not seek conflict, but we will not hesitate to protect our citizens, if required.”

PIJ is smaller than Hamas but shares the same ideology, both groups oppose the Israeli presence.

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