The Palestinian Ministry of Health says that 28 people were killed in the Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip. Israel is conducting an operation against a group called the Islamic Jihad Group there.
Among the dead were six children and several other members of the group, including Jihad Group or PIZ leaders Khaled Mansoor and Taisir Jabari.
An Israeli official says that Palestine has fired about 400 rockets and mortars since Friday.
Israel said it launched its operation because of the “immediate threat” posed by the Piz.
This is the most serious conflict between Israel and Gaza since the 11-day conflict in May 2021.
More than 200 Palestinians and as many as twelve Israelis were killed that year.
Israel has named its ongoing operation ‘Breaking Dawn’ and warned it could last for a week.
Israel says that in addition to the airstrikes in Gaza, 19 members of the PIJ were arrested in raids in the occupied West Bank.
Missile warning sirens were also sounded in Israeli cities on Saturday amid airstrikes in Gaza.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health has blamed “Israeli aggression” for the deaths of Palestinians and the wounding of 200 in renewed violence in Gaza.
However, no rockets appear to have been fired by Hamas so far.
Hamas shares ideological similarities with Islamic Jihad and often coordinates its activities with the group.
There are also no reports of Israeli airstrikes targeting Hamas.
Attacks on Hamas will only escalate the violence.
On Friday night, Hamas issued a strong statement saying that “resistance groups” were united against Israeli attacks.
But since Hamas is in control of Gaza, the group is probably deterred from any practical considerations from becoming more involved now.
Hamas’s calculations may change if civilian casualties in Gaza increase.
If Hamas decides to join this conflict, it will quickly escalate.
Israel has closed its crossings with Gaza amid fears Islamic Jihad may retaliate for the arrest of one of its leaders from the northwestern West Bank.
This has already made life difficult for people in the Palestinian territories.
Gaza’s only power generating station was shut down on Saturday after no fuel was delivered, a spokesman for the power company said.
Meanwhile, an Israeli official said, seventy of the four hundred rockets and mortars fired from Gaza did not reach Israeli territory. They fell in the Gaza Strip.
And most of those that reach Israeli airspace are intercepted by the ‘Iron Dome’ missile defense system.
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Officials said there were no casualties in Israel.
The Israeli Defense Forces, the IDF, said about 30 Islamic Jihad targets were hit. This includes two arsenals and six rocket factories.
Palestinian health officials say more than 200 people were injured in the attack.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Israel had launched a “specific counter-terrorist operation against the immediate threat”, referring to Friday’s first attack.
The IDF said it targeted installations linked to the PIJ.
Among them is the Palestine Tower, the tallest building in Gaza City.
Friday’s attack on the building caused massive explosions and smoke.
During a visit to Iran’s capital Tehran, PIJ Secretary General Ziad al-Nakhla said: “We will respond strongly to this aggression, and there will be a fight in which our people will win.”
“There is no red line for this war… and Tel Aviv will face rockets of resistance.”
The latest clashes erupted after Israel arrested PIJ chief Bassem Saadi in the West Bank on Monday night.
Bassem Saadi was arrested in the Jenin area as part of an Israeli arrest operation after a series of attacks by Israeli Arabs and Palestinians killed 17 Israelis and two Ukrainians. Two of the attackers were from the Jenin area.
The IDF says it found illegal weapons and large sums of money in his home.
One of the most powerful militant groups in Gaza is the PIJ, an Iranian-backed group headquartered in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
It has been responsible for several attacks, including rocket attacks on Israel.
In November 2019, a five-day conflict broke out between Israel and the PIJ after Israel killed a PIJ commander.
According to Israel, the commander was planning an attack on Israel. In those five days of violence, 34 Palestinians were killed and 111 others. At that time, 63 Israelis also required medical treatment.
Israel said 25 Palestinian militants were among the dead. Some of whom were preparing to launch a rocket attack.