At least 24 Palestinians dead: Israel intensifies attacks, jihad fires rockets

"Now is the time for resistance, not for truce.

At least 24 Palestinians dead: Israel intensifies attacks, jihad fires rockets

"Now is the time for resistance, not for truce." Islamic Jihad fires hundreds of rockets at Israel. According to its own statements, its air force flies attacks on weapons depots. The conflict escalates rapidly. The death toll is increasing.

With Israeli airstrikes on targets in the Gaza Strip and rocket attacks from there on Israeli cities, the two sides continued their heaviest clash in more than a year on Saturday. According to the Israeli Air Force, it attacked arms depots set up by militant Palestinians in residential areas. For its part, the Islamic Jihad group fired hundreds of rockets into Israeli territory. The attacks follow an Israeli special operation against Islamic Jihad in Gaza on Friday that killed Taisir al-Jabari, one of the top commanders, according to Israeli sources.

At least 24 Palestinians have been killed and 203 injured in the Israeli attacks, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said. Six children and two women were among the dead. According to information from Palestinian security circles, three residential buildings were hit in the attacks on Saturday. A five-story apartment building west of Gaza City was destroyed.

Local residents reported that Israeli drones previously fired a warning missile at the building before fighter jets attacked the building. The Israeli military said that only weapons production facilities, rocket launchers and weapons storage facilities were destroyed during the military operation. Reports of civilian deaths are known and being investigated, a military official said on Saturday.

Islamic Jihad itself has not commented on how many of its members have died in previous attacks. A ceasefire does not appear to be in sight. "Now is the time for resistance, not for a truce," a representative told Reuters.

Islamic Jihad said one of its attacks targeted Israel's main international airport, Ben Gurion. But the rocket missed it by 20 kilometers. According to air traffic control, there are no restrictions at the airport. Flight routes have been adjusted. Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired more than 400 rockets across the border. The Israeli military said most were intercepted. A few people in Israel were slightly injured when they ran into shelters.

Palestinian leaders said Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar had begun mediation efforts to end the violence. According to Egyptian security circles, an Egyptian delegation arrived in Israel on Saturday and was due to travel to Gaza for mediation talks. According to Egyptian sources, much may depend on whether Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, joins the violent actions of the smaller Islamic Jihad group.

Things have been relatively quiet on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel since May 2021. At least 250 people were killed in the Gaza Strip and 13 in Israel during the 11 days of fighting. According to the Israeli military, 19 Islamic Jihad fighters were arrested during night raids in the occupied West Bank. Israeli security forces arrested Bassam al-Saadi, a high-ranking member of Islamic Jihad, there on Monday. A 17-year-old member of the organization died when he was arrested.

The current Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip are to occupy the UN Security Council in New York next Monday. Diplomatic circles said on Saturday that a meeting of the United Nations' most powerful body had been requested by the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, France, Norway and China. A time has not yet been set. The meeting will take place behind closed doors.

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