More firing on Saturday morning between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in Gaza Biggest struggle for a year in Patti Moved to another day.
Israel targeted what were rocket factories and depots belonging to Islamic Jihad, the second largest terrorist group in Gaza after Hamas, while Palestinian militants fired rockets and mortars at Israeli cities near the edge of the region.
One Palestinian was killed in overnight attacks, according to the health ministry in Gaza, bringing the total death toll to 11, including a 5-year-old girl, while two Israelis were wounded on Friday seeking shelter.
Most of the projectiles that entered Israeli territory were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system or fell into open areas, although a rocket struck an Israeli community near the Gaza border on Saturday morning, slightly leaving a civilian. injured. Israeli media report. By midday, sirens warning of oncoming rocket fire were sounding north in the Israeli port city of Ashdod.
Despite initial attempts at mediation by international actors, including the United Nations, no ceasefire appeared imminent. Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the political bureau of Hamas, the main Islamic terrorist group in Gaza, said he had spoken overnight with officials in Egypt and Qatar, as well as the United Nations.
The fighting began Friday afternoon when Israel launched airstrikes, a pre-emptive effort by Islamic Jihad to thwart an impending attack from Gaza, after nearly a week of escalating tensions between Israel and the militant group.
Israel this week arrested one of the group’s senior commanders in the West Bank, threatening retaliation from its Gaza leadership, ahead of an Israeli airstrike on Friday, in which Taisir al-Quds, a senior leader of the al-Quds brigade. Jabari was killed, the branch of armed Islamic Jihad.
On Saturday morning, an Israeli military spokesman, Ran Kochav, told Israeli public radio that fighting was likely to last at least a week and that no talks were underway.
But overnight, the terrorists reduced the range of their rocket fire, aiming mostly at areas closer to Gaza rather than the cities to the north, which they had initially targeted.
Analysts said the recalculation could prevent the situation from progressing further – as could Hamas’s decision to stay out of the fighting.
Islamic Jihad is a second, smaller Gaza-based militia that sometimes acts independently of Hamas, which does not always support the secondary group in its rocket wars with Israel, particularly in 2019.
Israeli officials have said they are targeting Islamic Jihad only after they said they were on the verge of firing anti-tank missiles at Israeli targets later Friday afternoon.
To underscore that point, the Israeli military also announced that it had arrested 19 Islamic Jihad operatives in an overnight raid in the occupied West Bank.
Israel also closed public beaches along the coast north of Gaza, raising fears of further rocket fire there.