Israeli air strike kills 2nd top jihadist commander

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – An Israeli air strike has killed a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic militant group, militants said on Sunday their second leader would be killed amid escalating cross-border conflict. .

The killing late Saturday of Khaled Mansour, who leads Iran-backed jihadist operations in the southern Gaza Strip, comes a day after another Israeli attack killed just rebel command in the north. Currently, the fighting has killed around 30 Palestinians and has seen rockets fired towards Israel in the worst violence between Israel and Palestinian militants since the end of the 11-day war on Nov. year 2021.

Meanwhile, tensions could escalate as Jews mark a holy day that will see extremist Israeli lawmakers visit a sensitive holy site in Jerusalem, known to Jews as Temple Mount and for Muslims is the Noble Sanctuary. Such visits could be a frequent highlight of violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Al-Quds Brigade of the Islamic Jihad confirmed Sunday that the airstrike in the city of Rafah, southern Gaza, killed Mansour and two accomplices. The militants said the attack also killed five civilians, including a child and three women, as it flattened several houses.

Before that strike, the Gaza Health Ministry said 24 people had been killed so far in fighting in the coastal strip, including six children. Israel estimates its air strikes have killed around 15 militants. They have yet to give an updated figure following Rafah’s strike.

Jihadist fighters continued to fire rockets towards Israel and the Israeli military continued air strikes on Gaza, although the intensity of the exchange appeared to have subsided early Sunday.

The fighting began with Israel killing a senior jihadist commander in a wave of attacks on Friday that Israel said was aimed at preventing an impending attack.

Hamas, the larger militant group that rules Gaza, appears to have remained on the sidelines of the conflict, keeping its response limited. Israel and Hamas fought a war less than a year ago, one of four major conflicts and several smaller ones in the past 15 years that have caused a staggering 2 million Palestinian residents of the region impoverished territory.

The Israeli military said a errant missile fired by Palestinian gunmen killed civilians, including children, late Saturday in the northern Gaza town of Jabaliya. The military said it had investigated the incident and concluded “with no doubt” that it was caused by part of jihad. There was no official Palestinian comment on the incident.

A Palestinian medic, who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to journalists, said the explosion killed at least six people, including three children.

Israeli air strikes on Saturday killed a 75-year-old woman and wounded six others as they were preparing to go to a wedding. Air strikes have also destroyed several homes in the Gaza Strip, some belonging to Islamic Jihad members.

The only power plant in Gaza was shut down at noon on Saturday due to a lack of fuel. Israel has closed Gaza crossing points since Tuesday. With the new disruption, Gazans are only able to access electricity for four hours a day, increasing reliance on private generators and deepening the territory’s chronic power crisis amid summertime. peak heat.

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