Palestinian militants in Gaza fired dozens of rockets into Israel on Friday in response to Israeli airstrikes that killed at least 15 people.
Israeli airstrikes killed a commander of Islamic Jihad and 15 terrorists in Gaza on Friday, after days of escalating tensions following the arrest of a Palestinian militant leader.
Israeli warplanes targeted Islamic Jihad sites in Gaza that “severely affect” the organization’s ability to develop military capabilities, and killed the main coordinator between Islamic Jihad and Hamas, according to the Israeli military.
After arresting a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad group, Israel closed off all Gaza crossings and some nearby roads, further restricting Palestinian movement.
Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala vowed retaliation for the strikes, and Hamas issued a statement saying the blood of its people would not go in vain.
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process warned that the rocket fire risked creating the need for more aid.
The Israeli military spokesperson said special measures had been imposed in Israeli areas 80 kilometres around Gaza, and that fuel trucks meant to deliver fuel to the Gaza strips only powerplant had been dropped at the last minute as attacks on Israeli targets were imminent.
Gaza is a narrow strip of land where some 2.3 million people live. Israel has fought five conflicts with Gaza since 2009, and the area has since been under blockade by both Israel and Egypt.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Air strikes, rocket attacks push Israel, Gaza into second day of fighting Reuters
- Israel, Gaza militants exchange fire, move closer to war Fox News
- Israel-Gaza: Death toll rises as Israel targets militants BBC
- Airstrikes and rocket attacks push Israel and militants into second day of fighting NBC News
- Gaza attack: What is the Palestinian Islamic Jihad? Al Jazeera English