Israeli explosions dim hopes for peace in Gaza
By Saud Abu Ramadan
Gaza, May 12 (EFE).- Gazan hopes for peace are diminishing after four days of violence claimed 31 Palestinian lives.
After a night of calm fueled truce hopes, clashes continued on Friday between the Israeli army and the Palestinian militants, led by the Islamic Jihad, considered a terror organization by Israel.
Despite ongoing efforts for an Egyptian-mediated truce, the streets of Gaza continue to be fraught with fear and uncertainty.
Many residents are choosing to stay in their homes to avoid the risk of being killed or injured by bombs or failed rocket launches falling on the coastal strip.
According to Amira Hassan, a 45-year-old mother of four residing in the Azza neighborhood, her children could not sleep due to the fear of explosions.
“We do not know how long the war will continue,” she said. “The occupying army and its planes are bombing everywhere. We feel the death is closer.”
Israeli airstrikes have killed 31 people, including at least 15 civilians. Six children are among the dead.
The health ministry in the enclave said more than 100 were injured.
Approximately 2.5 million people reside in Hamas-governed Gaza, battling an Israeli military blockade since 2007.
The four days of violence have left the strip in a state of war, with no traffic on the streets, hardly any pedestrian, and schools and universities closed.
Only bakeries, pharmacies, and supermarkets have opened.
On Friday, the Israeli military carried out three rounds of attacks.
Hamas officials reported that an aerial raid hit six houses, injuring many people.
Efforts for a truce, led by Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations, have so far failed.
Leaders of the Islamic Jihad movement arrived in Cairo Thursday for negotiations with Israel, which has suspended talks amid the new escalation.
Palestinian sources indicated that the group demands that Israel suspend its “targeted killings” policy against the group.
The Israeli army claimed to have killed 16 Islamic Jihad commanders, including eight senior leaders.
The Islamic Jihad also demanded that Israel return the body of Khader Adnan, a prominent group member who died during an 87-day hunger strike in an Israeli prison.
Adnan died last week while still on hunger strike.