Israeli fighter jets pounded militant targets in Gaza as rockets rained down on southern Israel, hours after a wave of Israeli airstrikes on the coastal enclave killed at least 10 people, including a militant high-ranking and a 5-year-old girl
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli fighter jets pounded militant targets in Gaza early Saturday as rockets rained down on southern Israel, hours after a wave of Israeli airstrikes on the coastal enclave killed at least 10 people, including a high-ranking activist and a 5-year-old girl.
The fighting that began Friday with Israel’s dramatic targeted killing of a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander continued through the night, bringing the sides one step closer to all-out war.
But the territory’s Hamas leaders appeared to be staying on the sidelines of the conflict, keeping its intensity somewhat contained, for now. Israel and the militant Hamas leaders of Gaza have fought four wars and several small battles in the past 15 years at a staggering cost to the territory’s 2 million Palestinian residents.
The latest round of violence between Israel and Gaza was sparked by the arrest this week of a senior Islamic Jihad operative in the West Bank, as part of a month-long Israeli military operation in the territory. Citing a security threat, Israel then closed roads around the Gaza Strip for days and eliminated the militant leader in a targeted strike on Friday.
Goldenberg reported from Tel Aviv, Israel.