The Palestinian Health Ministry also reported “a five-year-old girl, targeted by the Israeli occupation” was among those killed on Friday
The Israeli army has also announced the arrest of 19 people it said are members of the Islamic Jihad group in the occupied West Bank, alongside the arrest of one other person. Health authorities in Gaza say 10 people have been killed by Israel‘s bombardment, including a five-year-old girl, with 79 others injured. (AFP) Israel has hit Gaza with air strikes for a second day, drawing retaliation from an armed Palestinian group, in the territory's worst escalation of violence since a war last year.
Israeli aircraft continued striking the besieged territory on Saturday, a day after the Palestinian Health Ministry said bombardment there killed 10 people, including a child.
Israel says it has launched a “pre-emptive” operation against the Islamic Jihad group. Israel's army estimates that its operations have killed 15 fighters in Gaza, including a senior commander.
Early on Saturday, Israel broadened its operation against Islamic Jihad. The Israeli army announced the arrest of 19 people it said were members of the group in the occupied West Bank, alongside the arrest of one other person.
Israel and Islamic Jihad have both confirmed the killing of Taysir al-Jabari, a key leader of the armed group, in a Friday strike on a building in the west of Gaza city.
The Palestinian Health Ministry also reported “a five-year-old girl, targeted by the Israeli occupation” was among those killed on Friday.
A Western-backed Palestinian Authority official condemned Israel's attacks. “We call on the international community to intervene and provide protection for our people,” Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said on Twitter.
Türkiye and Qatar have strongly condemned the Israeli strikes leading to civilian casualties.
READ MORE: Child and commander among victims of Israeli strikes on Gaza
Islamic Jihad said the initial Israeli bombardment amounted to a “declaration of war”, before it unleashed a barrage of rockets towards Israel.
The rocket fire and Israeli strikes were continuing early on Saturday, risking a repeat of an 11-day conflict in May 2021 that left at least 250 people in Gaza and 13 in Israel dead.
“Israel isn't interested in a wider conflict in Gaza, but will not shy away from one either,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a nationally televised address on Friday.
Air raid sirens sounded across southern Israel early on Saturday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage, with many rockets intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defence system.
Officials in border areas urged people to stay close to shelters, which have also been opened in Tel Aviv.
Egypt — a historic broker between Israel and groups in Gaza — the United Nations and Qatar had begun mediating an end to the violence, according to a Palestinian official with knowledge of the efforts.
The strikes come four days after Israel closed its two border crossings with Gaza and restricted the movement of Israeli civilians living near the frontier, citing security concerns.
The measures followed the arrest in the occupied West Bank of two senior members of Islamic Jihad, including Bassem al-Saadi, who Israel accuses of orchestrating recent attacks.
READ MORE: Condemnations pour in after Israel launches deadly strikes on besieged Gaza
Source: TRTWorld and agencies