Israel launches strikes against Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza

Jerusalem and Gaza

The Israeli army on Friday launched deadly strikes against Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza as tensions continue to rise between Israel and Palestinian militant groups.

Islamic Jihad said in a statement that one of its top leaders, Tayseer Al Jabari, was killed in an Israeli strike. He was commander of the Quds Brigade, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the group said, and a member of its military council.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said at least seven people were killed, including a five-year-old girl, and 40 others were injured.

A CNN producer in Gaza saw medics carry two bodies out of a building called the Palestine Tower that had been hit in one of the strikes.

An Israeli army statement announcing the military action made it clear that it was targeting Islamic Jihad, the smaller of the two main militant groups in Gaza. A “special situation” has been declared in areas around Gaza, in anticipation of possible rocket attacks or other retaliatory attacks, the army said.

The strikes come days after Israeli forces captured a senior Islamic Jihad commander, Bassam al-Saadi, in a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

A statement from Islamic Jihad said: “The enemy has started a war targeting our people, and we all have a duty to defend ourselves and our people, and not allow the enemy to get away with it. its actions aimed at undermining national resistance and steadfastness.”

Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, condemned the Israeli action. “The Israeli enemy, who triggered the escalation against Gaza and committed a new crime, must pay the price and bear full responsibility,” spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.

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