The Israeli Army today killed the number two of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group in the Gaza Strip during an airstrike on a residential building that left at least seven others dead and more than 40 wounded.
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Palestinian medical and security sources in Gaza confirmed the death of Taysir al Jabari, leader of the armed wing of the YIP in the center and north of the Strip and who headed the unit responsible for launching rockets into Israel.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health detailed that one of the fatalities is a five-year-old girl.
Other Palestinian sources in Gaza also highlighted that the attacked residential building, located in the center of the Gaza Capital, houses the offices of the media and non-governmental organizations.
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The murder of Al Jabari takes place within the framework of an offensive launched today by the Israeli Army against targets of the Palestinian group in the enclave, within the framework of a spike in tension after the arrest on Monday of another of its leaders in the occupied West Bank.
In a brief statement, the Army announced the start of an operation against the Islamist group, which this week threatened retaliatory attacks after the arrest, triggering a reinforcement of Israeli troops on the Gaza border and a state of alarm over the possible rocket launch.
Since a few days ago, Israel it keeps the border crossings with the Strip closed, as well as multiple roads in the Israeli communities adjoining the enclave.
The Israeli attack today Loop It marks a change in trend from previous offensives, the triggers of which often include hostilities by Palestinian groups in the Strip against Israeli territory.
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After the bombardments, which according to Palestinian sources reached multiple targets in different Gazan cities, the Army decreed the interruption of almost all activities in the communities near the border and established multiple protection measures in neighboring but not so close areas.
These measures include the interruption of all educational activities and a limit on capacity, which cannot be extended to more than 10 people in closed spaces at least until tomorrow afternoon.
Following the offensive, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said: “The Israeli government will not allow terrorist organizations in Gaza to set the agenda in the area adjacent to the Strip and threaten the citizens of the State of Israel. Anyone who tries to harm Israel should know: we will find him.”
“The security forces will act against Islamic Jihad terrorists to eliminate the threat they pose to the citizens of Israel”he added.
For his part, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that “The goal is to protect the State of Israel and the citizens of Israel. We will not allow anyone to threaten or harm the citizens of Israel. Whoever tries to do it will get hurt.”