(Update 2: updates casualties, adds details)
Jerusalem, Aug 6 (EFE).- At least 15 Palestinians were killed amid an escalation of violence between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza, the health ministry reported Saturday.
The latest casualty was a 62-year-old woman and health officials said over 125 people had been injured in fresh Israeli strikes on the strip as the tension between the two sides entered its second consecutive day.
Fatalities included four members of the PIJ, including its number two, Taysir al Jabari, the organization said.
Health officials added the fatalities also included a five-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman.
Meanwhile, two Israeli soldiers were injured as a projectile hit Nirim near the border with Gaza, the Israeli military told Efe. Although their injuries were minor, they had to be taken to a hospital for medical attention.
Eight other Israelis were hospitalized mostly for injuries sustained while rushing into bomb shelters, local media reported.
The Israeli Army reported some 160 rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip into its territory overnight, mainly toward locations near the enclave.
The vast majority of these projectiles were intercepted by the Israeli air defense systems while the rest fell into uninhabited areas.
One of Saturday’s projectiles activated the alarms in the city of Modi’in-Maccabim-Re’ut, located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and where a strong explosion was recorded after being intercepted.
Although the Israeli army has not confirmed how many bombings it has carried out on the strip since Friday, military sources cited by local media estimated that over 40 targets of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad have been hit so far.
These targets include sites allegedly used for arms manufacturing and rockets launch, as well as military checkpoints.
The tension flared up on Friday when Israel launched a “preemptive” offensive on Jihad targets in Gaza in the face of what the Army described as an “imminent threat” of attack by the group in retaliation for the arrest of one of their leaders.EFE