GAZA CITY.- The israeli army informed this Friday that it is carrying out attacks in the Gaza Strip against targets of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organizationamid fears of reprisals from the Palestinian enclave for the arrest earlier this week of the leader of an armed group.
Shortly after the start of the attack, Islamic Jihad announced the death of one of its leaders, identified as Tayseer al-Jabari, who was the successor of Baha Abu al-Ata, who died in November 2019. That operation caused two days of clashes between the Israeli Army and Islamic Jihad, which left at least 34 members of the terrorist group dead and 111 wounded.
“The Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine and its military wing of the al-Quds Brigade mourn the death of the great jihadist commander Tayseer al-Jabari (Abu Mahmud), killed in a Zionist assassination in Gaza City,” a statement said. of the group.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that so far seven deaths have been reported – including Al-Jabari and a child – and at least 40 wounded by the Israeli attack.
In a first response to the IDF attacks, Islamic Jihad said that “the enemy has started a war against our people.” Its leader, Ziad al-Nakhalah, warned: “We are heading into battle, and there is no respite after this airstrike. The results of this war will be in favor of the Palestinian people. The enemy must expect a battle, not a truce.”
Israeli forces “are currently attacking the Gaza Strip” with Operation Dawn, the Army had reported in a statement. Witnesses and Palestinian security sources told news agencies of several attacks, including one in central Gaza City.
In the same statement, the Israeli Army declares a call “special situation” on the domestic combat front, without giving further details.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) alerted residents up to 80 kilometers from the border with the Gaza Strip, including Tel Aviv, that there is a risk of rocket fire.
The official Palestinian news agency Wafa confirmed the beginning of the attacks, which have reached, among other targets, the Palestine Tower building in the Gazan neighborhood of Rimal.
The bombings this Friday came after a raid carried out on Monday by Israeli forces in a refugee camp in Jenin that resulted in the death of a Palestinian teenager and the arrest of Basam Saadi, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad, and his son-in-law Ashraf al-Jada. The organization promised retaliation after the operation.
This morning, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited the IDF Southern Command, following heightened tension along the border with the Gaza Strip for the fourth day in a row, over fears of an attack by the Islamic Jihad. The minister had warned that the threat posed by the terror group would be addressed.
The batteries of the Iron Dome system were deployed throughout the south and center of the country before the launch of missiles against the Palestinian enclave.
Following the attack, Israel closed all Gaza crossings and some nearby routes for fear of retaliatory attacks by the Islamic Jihad group, which has a stronghold in Gaza.
AFP Agency, Reuters and DPA