At least ten people, including a 5-year-old child and a leader of the Palestinian armed group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, were killed on Friday August 5 in an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip, local health authorities announced. About 50 people were also injured.
The Israeli army, for its part, estimated that fifteen people had been killed in its strikes. Israeli military spokesman Richard Hecht called the operation a“preemptive attack” against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and warned that she was not “not finished yet”. The Israeli army had announced earlier in the day to be “hitting the Gaza Strip” and target this organization.
“The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement and its armed wing the Al-Quds Brigades mourn the death of the great jihadist commander Tayseer Al-Jabari” in Gaza City, the armed group reported. He also promised that he would take revenge by targeting Israeli towns.
“No red lines in this battle”
“The Zionist enemy started this aggression and must expect us to fight relentlessly. (…) There will be no truce after this bombardment”Palestinian Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ziyad Al-Nakhalah said in an interview with Lebanese television Al Mayadeen in the Iranian capital Tehran.
“There will be no red lines in this battle. (…) Tel Aviv and other Zionist cities will be targets of the resistance’s missiles”, he added. Visiting Iran, the main supporter of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Mr. Nakhalah met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He called on his fighters and activists from all Palestinian factions to fight “as one” in front of “aggression” Israeli.
Witnesses and Palestinian security sources told Agence France-Presse that they had counted several strikes, in particular one in the center of Gaza City. The raids come after the arrest on Monday of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader in the occupied West Bank, Bassem Saadi. The Israeli authorities feared reprisal attacks from the Gaza Strip, an enclave controlled by the Islamists of Hamas, where the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is well established.
Closure of border crossings on Tuesday
Shortly before the strikes, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz claimed that Israeli forces “prepared for any action to be taken on all fronts, in the northern, central and southern regions of Israel”. “To our enemies, and particularly to the leaders of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, I would like to insist: your time is running out. The threat [sur le sud d’Israël] will be eliminated one way or another”he said, according to a statement.
The Israeli army on Tuesday ordered the closure of border crossings, forcing thousands of Gazans, holders of work permits in Israel, to stay at home. The shutdown slowed the delivery of diesel fuel, usually trucked in from Egypt or Israel and needed to power Gaza’s power plant. This unique plant risks closing due to a lack of fuel, according to the warning given Thursday by its director.
About fifty people leaving the enclave daily for treatment were also affected, according to the World Health Organization. Since 2007, Israel has imposed a strict blockade on Gaza, an enclave of 2.3 million inhabitants undermined by poverty and unemployment. Israel and armed groups in Gaza have fought several wars, the last of which was in May 2021. Israel’s last strikes on Gaza date from July 19: the Israeli army had targeted a Hamas position after a gunshot in coming from the enclave.