Jerusalem, Aug 5 (EFE).- The second-in-command of the military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) was among at least 10 people killed Friday in Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip.
In Israel, four people had to be hospitalized for injuries suffered while running for bomb shelters as the PIJ launched more than 100 rockets in relation for what the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) described as a “pre-emptive” airstrike on Taysir al-Jabari.
“We just targeted a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group in Gaza. Taysir al-Jabari was responsible for multiple terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians,” the IDF said on Twitter early Friday.
The strike was necessary to contain “an imminent threat,” the IDF said.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said that a 5-year-old girl died in the same strike on a residential building in the center of Gaza City which also houses offices of media and non-governmental organizations.
“Operation Breaking Dawn” came amid a spike in tensions following Monday’s arrest of another PIJ leader in the occupied West Bank and followed Israel’s shutdown of border crossings with the Strip and the closing of multiple roads in Israeli communities bordering Gaza.
“The Israeli government will not allow terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip to set the agenda in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and threaten the citizens of the State of Israel. Anyone who tries to harm Israel should know: We will find you,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement.
Friday’s attack on Gaza marked a departure from previous IDF offensives, which usually followed attacks from inside the Strip against Israeli territory.
The secretary general of the PIJ, Ziad al-Nakhala, threatened to attack targets in the center of Israel, including Tel Aviv, in response to the Israeli bombing.
Egypt said late Friday that it was in touch with Israel and the Palestinians in an attempt to secure an end to the hostilities.
“The Arab Republic of Egypt is conducting intensive contacts around the clock in order to contain the situation in Gaza, work to calm down and preserve lives and property,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.
Egypt, which borders Gaza to the west and made peace with Israel in 1979, has traditionally acted as a mediator in disputes between Israel and the Palestinians and in quarrels among Palestinian factions.
Cairo played a decisive role in May 2021 in brokering a settlement to halt the worst military confrontations between the IDF and Gaza militias since 2014. EFE pd/ks/mp/dr