Six Palestinian children killed as Israel attacks Gaza | Israel-Palestine conflict News

Israeli jets hit the Gaza Strip for a second day on Saturday, killing at least 24 people, including six Palestinian children.

Hamas, the group that governs the Palestinian enclave, said children were among those killed in an explosion near the Jabalya refugee camp and blamed Israel.

However, the Israeli military denied responsibility, saying that the explosion was caused by a rocket launched by the Palestinian armed group that was unsuccessful. Islamic Jihad.

At least 203 people were also wounded in the two days of fighting, the Health Ministry in Gaza said.

Clashes, which have broken more than a year of relative calm around Gaza, began on Friday with Israel targeted murder of a high-ranking commander of the Islamic Jihad. Israeli missiles have since destroyed homes and apartment buildings and hit a refugee camp, and the military has warned that its campaign against jihad could last a week. .

Among those killed in the Israeli raids was Um Walid, a 73-year-old man preparing for his son’s wedding. She died in an attack on a car at the Beit Hanoun refugee camp.

Palestinian warplanes responded to the Israeli attacks by launching more than 400 rockets at Israel, but most of them were intercepted.

There have been no reports of serious casualties, according to the Israeli ambulance service.

‘In-depth settlement’

Some 2.3 million Palestinians are concentrated on the narrow coastal Gaza Strip, while Israel and Egypt tightly restrict the movement of people and goods in and out of the surrounding area and impose a naval blockade. , citing security concerns.

Israel halted planned fuel shipments into Gaza shortly before launching Friday’s attacks, crippling the territory’s only power plant and reducing electricity output to about four hours a day and giving warning from health officials that hospitals will be severely affected within the next few days.

“[The Israelis] are attacking civilians, they are attacking facilities, residential areas. No one knows what will happen in the coming hours,” said Dr. Medhat Abbas, Director of the Gaza Health Ministry.

“This is a call to extend the help of the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip right now. Power shortage. Now it has been stated that it will only be four hours a day. This means we will rely on hospitals on generators. The generator consumes half a million liters per month. We don’t have this kind of fuel right now.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Cairo was talking “round the clock” with both sides to defuse the violence.

An Egyptian intelligence delegation led by Major General Ahmed Abdelkhaliq arrived in Israel on Saturday and will travel to Gaza for reconciliation, two Egyptian security sources told Reuters news agency. The sources added that they hope to be able to secure a one-day ceasefire in order to conduct negotiations.

“Intensive efforts were made this evening and the movement listened to the mediators, but these efforts have yet to reach an agreement,” an Islamic Jihad official told Reuters late on Wednesday. Seven.

The Israel-Gaza border has hardly been quiet since May 2021, when 11 days of fierce fighting left at least 250 people dead in the enclave and 13 in Israel.

Tensions increased this week after Israeli forces arrested Bassam al-Saadi, an Islamic Jihad commander in the occupied West Bank. Al-Saadi was arrested during an Israeli raid in the city of Jenin, in which one Teenager was killed. Israel then blocked roads around the Gaza Strip and on Friday was killed Taysir al-Jabari, a commander of the Islamic Jihad wing. Several others, including a five-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman, were killed in the attack.

The Israeli military also said it had arrested 19 more members of Islamic Jihad in the occupied West Bank on Saturday.

Youmna ElSayed of Al Jazeera said many people in Gaza were scared.

“The war ended up causing widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip. A year later, there is almost no reconstruction,” said ElSayed from Gaza City. “This isolated coastal territory is poor, the people barely recovered. And many fear another escalation.”

Further escalation of violence will largely depend on whether the ruling Hamas group chooses to join the fight alongside the smaller jihadist organization.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that “the enemy of Israel, who started the escalation against Gaza and committed a new crime, must pay the price and bear full responsibility for it”.

The violence also posed an early test for Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who took on the role of front care leader of the November election, when he hopes to keep the position.

Lapid, a former TV presenter and centerpiece author with diplomatic experience, served as foreign minister in the outgoing government, but has a slim security credentials. A conflict with Gaza could ignite his position and give him a boost as he confronts former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a security hawk who led the country in three of four wars. war with Hamas.

The United States said on Saturday it fully supported Israel’s right to self-defence and called on all sides to avoid further escalation, while Iran, which backs jihad, said Israel would “Pay a heavy price” for the latest attacks.

The United Nations and European Union Middle East envoys have expressed concern about the violence, and the Western-backed Palestinian Authority has also condemned the Israeli attacks.

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