Cohetes disparados por militantes palestinos hacia Israel, en la ciudad de Gaza, el viernes 5 de agosto de 2022. Foto: Fátima Shbair/AP.

Israeli strikes in Gaza kill ten people

Israel unleashed a wave of airstrikes on Friday in Gaza, killing at least 10 people, including a high-ranking militant, according to Palestinian officials.

Israel said it attacked the Islamic Jihad militant group in response to an “imminent threat” following the recent arrest of another high-ranking militant.

Hours later, Palestinian militants unleashed a barrage of rockets as air-raid sirens blared across Israel and the two sides moved closer to another all-out war.

Islamic Jihad claimed to have fired a hundred rockets. Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza have fought four wars and several smaller battles in the last fifteen years at a staggering cost to the territory’s two million Palestinian residents.

An explosion was heard in Gaza City, with smoke rising from a seventh floor of a high-rise building. The video, released by Israel’s military, showed that the strikes blew up three watchtowers with suspected militants inside.

Palestinians carry the bodies of victims killed in an Israeli airstrike, during their funeral in Gaza City on Friday, August 5, 2022. Photo: Fatima Shbair/AP.

In a nationally televised speech, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said his country launched the attacks based on “concrete threats.” “This government has a zero tolerance policy for any attempted attack, of any kind, from Gaza into Israeli territory,” he said. “Israel will not sit idly by when there are those who try to harm its civilians.” He added that “Israel is not interested in a broader conflict in Gaza, but it will not shy away from it either.”

The Palestinian Health Ministry said a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman were among those killed in Gaza, without differentiating between civilian and militant casualties.

The Israeli army said initial estimates were that around 15 fighters were killed. Dozens of people were injured. Islamic Jihad said Taiseer al-Jabari, its commander for northern Gaza, was among those killed.

An Israeli military spokesman said the strikes were in response to an “imminent threat” from two militant squads armed with anti-tank missiles. The spokesman, who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, said al-Jabari was deliberately targeted and that he had been responsible for “multiple attacks” against Israel.

Hundreds of people marched in a funeral procession for him and others who were killed, with many mourners waving Palestinian and Islamic Jihad flags and calling for revenge.

Associated Press/OnCuba.

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