Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza in unprovoked attack killing 15 incl 5-year-old child

Gaza City, Palestine (AA & Agencies): Israel, in an unprovoked attack, rained missiles at Gaza for two days killing 15 Palestinians, including a 5-year-old girl and 23-year-old woman and injuring 114 other Palestinians, according to Palestinian Ministry of Health. Gaza-based Health Ministry said. A commander of Islamic Jihad’s military wing Tyasir al-Jabari was also killed in the attack.  

The Islamic Jihad movement confirmed Taysir al-Jabari, its commander for the northern region of Gaza, was killed in the airstrikes.

The Israeli army confirmed that it had targeted al-Jabari and 10 others, claiming they were on their way to launch anti-tank missiles and sniper operations.

According to an Anadolu Agency reporter in Gaza, Israeli warplanes hit separate areas in Gaza City, Khan Yunis and the northern Gaza Strip. Among the targets that the army raided was an apartment in Burj Palestine, in the Rimal neighborhood in western Gaza City.

In retaliation to the Israeli bombings Palestine’s Islamic Jihad on Friday announced that it had fired more than 100 rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israeli cities in response to Israel’s assassination of one of its top leaders.

“In response to the crime of assassinating Al-Jabari and his comrades, Saraya al-Quds bombed Tel Aviv and other cities with more than 100 missiles,” said the group’s armed wing.

The Israeli army said in a statement that warning sirens were sounded in several areas in southern Israel while local media said sirens were heard in several cities near Tel Aviv, central Israel, due to the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip.

Israel had prepared for this attack for some days now. 

Israel closed roads around Gaza earlier this week and sent reinforcements to the border as it braced for a response after al-Saadi’s arrest.

Friday’s attack came on the heels of previous assaults, including drone strikes on the Gaza Strip, leading some observers to suggest the current escalation is a calculated move.

The West Bank, too, has also seen a rise in Israeli attacks by soldiers and settlers alike, as well as arrests of Palestinians and home demolitions.

“Israel is arming its settlers in the West Bank to shoot and kill Palestinians and not to [do so] under the chain of command of the military. So what we’re seeing right now is an intensification of Israel’s military strategy of ‘shock and awe’,” said Mariam Barghouti, a Ramallah-based researcher to Al Jazeera.

“Let’s also keep in mind that Israeli elections are coming this November, and there’s this trend of Israeli leaders to use Gaza as a weapon to rally the Israeli settler population.”

The Israeli bombings at the residential areas in Gaza Strip were condemned by wold leaders and Palestinian leaders.

Hamas affirmed that “the resistance with all its military arms and factions are united in this battle and will say its word with full force.”

“The Israeli enemy is the one which started the escalation against the resistance in Gaza, and it must bear the responsibility,” Hamas said.

The Palestinian Authority condemned the Israeli “aggression” against the Gaza Strip.

In a press statement, it called on Israel to stop this “aggression” immediately, holding Tel Aviv’s army “responsible for this dangerous escalation.”

The Palestinian Authority also called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop the aggression against Palestinians everywhere, particularly in Gaza, and to provide them with international protection.

Türkiye on Saturday “strongly” condemned Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and said it is ‘unacceptable that civilians, including children, lose their lives in attacks.”

The Foreign Ministry urged “restraint and common sense” amid rising tension in the region following the deadly attacks on the blockaded enclave.

“We are deeply concerned about the rising tension in the region after the attacks. We emphasize the need to end these events before they turn into a new spiral of conflict,” it said.

Earlier, the UN envoy for the Middle East Peace Process said he is “deeply concerned by the ongoing escalation between Palestinian militants and Israel, including the targeted killing today of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader inside Gaza.”

“In the past few hours, at least 10 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes. I am deeply saddened by reports that a five-year-old child has been killed in these strikes. There can be no justification for any attacks against civilians,”  Wennesland added.

He called the continuing escalation “very dangerous” and urged an immediate end to rocket launches from the Gaza Strip toward Israel.

“And I call on all sides to avoid further escalation,” he said.

Wennesland said the current situation will jeopardize humanitarian efforts to help rebuild Gaza.

He vowed that the UN is “fully engaged” with all parties to “avoid a further conflict which would have devastating consequences, mainly for civilians.”

Jordan demanded Friday that Israel “immediately stop” its aggression on the Gaza Strip.

The Foreign Ministry urged the international community to take “urgent and effective” action to stop the escalation and provide protection to the Palestinian people.

Spokesman Haitham Abu Al-Ful warned of “dangerous” consequences for the Israeli escalation and terrorizing civilians, which “will only increase tension and violence and deepen the environment of despair.”

He said: “The solution to the problem of the Gaza Strip and preventing the escalation of violence lies in finding a real political horizon by returning to the negotiating table to achieve a just peace on the basis of the two-state solution.”

Al-Ful also said what would solve the problem would also be “lifting the unjust siege on the Gaza Strip, promptly addressing the humanitarian needs in it, and respecting the rules of international law and resolutions of international legitimacy.”

Qatar on Friday evening voiced its strong condemnation of Israeli “aggression” against the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry stressed “the need for the international community to act urgently to stop the repeated attacks by the occupation against civilians, especially women and children.”

The statement reiterated Qatar’s “firm” position on the justice of the Palestinian cause, the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, and the establishment of their independent state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Iran strongly condemned “criminal” Israeli airstrikes across the Gaza Strip on Friday, which killed at least 10 people, including a Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander, adding that Palestinians fully have the right to retaliate.

In a statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said Tehran condemns the “brutal attack” on the besieged enclave and the killing of “resistance commanders and defenseless Palestinian people.”

Kanaani called the aerial attack “criminal, adventurous and provocative,” adding that the responsibility for the aggression and its consequences lie with Tel Aviv.

He said Palestinians are “within their legal rights” to “act and defend themselves from the aggression” while calling on countries worldwide and international organizations to “fulfill their legal and moral responsibility in defending the oppressed Palestinian nation.”

Kanaani hastened to add that the continued crimes by Israel are “the main cause of instability and insecurity in the region.”

Earlier in the day, Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad al-Nakhalah said Israel must expect a “non-stop” confrontation over Friday’s attack, adding that there would be no truce with Tel Aviv.

The Gaza airstrikes took place a day after Nakhalah was in Iran’s capital Tehran, where he met President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abd ollahian, and Ali Akbar Velayati, a top advisor to Ayatollah Khamenei.

In his meeting with the Palestinian leader, Raisi said the “bright path of resistance” has “brought hope to supporters of Palestine.”

The US said on Friday that it is working with Israel, Palestine, and regional partners to restore “calm” after Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip left 10 people dead, including a child and a militant leader, and dozens more wounded.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby urged all parties “to avoid further escalation,” and said the Biden administration remains “unwavering in our commitment to Israel security.”

“We will continue to work to strengthen all aspects of the US-Israeli partnership. We absolutely fully support Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorist groups that have taken the lives of innocent civilians,” he told reporters on a conference call.

According to an Anadolu Agency reporter in Gaza, Israeli warplanes hit separate areas in Gaza City, Khan Yunis, and the northern Gaza Strip. Among the targets that the army raided was an apartment in Burj Palestine, in the Rimal neighborhood in western Gaza City.

[Photo: Smoke rises around the area where Israeli airstrikes over Khan Yunis, Gaza, Palestine, on August 6, 2022. Photojournalist :Abed Rahim Khatib/AA]


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