The Israeli army announced on August 5 that it was carrying out strikes on the Gaza Strip, highlighting the fear of attacks from the Palestinian enclave after the arrest, earlier this week, of the leader of an armed Palestinian group. Tsahal “is striking the Gaza Strip”, she reported in a short press release, before specifying then that this operation targeted the organization of Islamic Jihad.
Witnesses and Palestinian security sources told AFP they saw several strikes, including one in central Gaza City. A leader of the Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad was killed in the Israeli gunfire, the organization said in a statement. “The Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine 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.
“The enemy has started a war against our people and we must collectively defend ourselves and our people, we will not allow the policies of our enemy to undermine our resistance,” the Islamic Jihad said.
According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, the toll of the strikes is four dead, including, in addition to that of the leader of Islamic Jihad, that of a child. “The number of martyrs has risen to four, including a five-year-old girl,” he said. These operations come after the arrest, on August 1, of a leader of Islamic Jihad in the occupied West Bank, Bassem Saadi. The Israeli authorities said they feared reprisal attacks from the Gaza Strip, an enclave controlled by the Islamists of Hamas and where Islamic Jihad is very present.
Israel says it will eliminate threat ‘one way or another’
Shortly before the August 5 strikes, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz claimed that Israeli forces were “preparing for any action to be taken on all fronts, in the northern, central and southern regions of Israel. ‘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 will be eliminated one way or another,” he said, according to a statement.
The Israeli army had ordered the closure of border crossings on August 2, 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 only power plant. Its director had warned on August 4 that the facility could close due to a lack of fuel.
In addition, around 50 people who normally leave the enclave daily for treatment have also been affected by the closure of the crossings, according to the World Health Organization. Since 2007, the Jewish state 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 dates back to May 2021. Israel’s last strikes on Gaza date back to July 19: the Israeli army then targeted a Hamas position after a gunshot from the enclave.
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