TE24 International Desk:
The death toll from escalating violence in Gaza rose to 24 on Sunday, including six children, as Israel stepped up shelling of Palestinian militants it expected to retaliate with rockets.
According to the latest census by health officials in the region conducted by Hamas, six children have been killed and 204 injured since the Israeli offensive began on Friday. It said there was irrefutable evidence that stray missiles by Islamic jihadists were responsible for the deaths of several children in Jabalia, northern Gaza. It was not immediately known how many children died.
AFP photographers saw the bodies of six people, including three minors, at a local hospital. The Israeli military has warned that the airstrikes and artillery battle against Islamic Jihad could last a week, but Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Cairo would continue to work with both sides to defuse the violence.
We are talking about a deadline, he said. After days of tensions along the Gaza border, Israel said a pre-emptive strike against Islamic Jihad was needed as the group planned an imminent attack.
On Saturday night, AFP journalists heard warning sirens warning of fire approaching in the Tel Aviv area. In Rafah, on the Gaza-Egypt border, women and children were trapped under rubble after an Israeli attack, the Strip’s Civil Defense Unit said.
Rescue workers excavate the site where Khaled Mansour, a senior Islamic Jihad commander, was targeted in an Israeli strike on Saturday. There was no concrete confirmation of Mansour’s death, but the Israeli military’s chief of operations, Oded Basiok, said in a statement that all senior military leaders of Islamic Jihad in Gaza had been neutralized.
After Israel closed border crossings, daily life in the Strip came to a standstill when distribution companies said a single power plant was shut down due to fuel shortages. Gaza’s health ministry said the next few hours would be extremely critical and difficult, warning that essential services were at risk of being cut off within the next 72 hours due to power shortages.
-we are all alone-
Donya Ismail, her resident in Gaza City, said Palestinians are used to keeping survival bags with things like money and medicine.
This latest increase brings back images of fear, anxiety and the feeling that we are all alone, he told AFP.
On the Israeli side of the border, Magen David Adom emergency services said two people were hospitalized with stab wounds and 13 others suffered minor injuries as they escaped to safety.
In Kibbutz Nahal Oz, an Israeli community bordering the Gaza Strip, resident Nadav Peretz said he has been “in or near an air raid shelter” since Friday.
We recognize that there are uninvolved civilians on the other side and that children on both sides deserve to enjoy their summer vacation. Allied but often operating independently, both are blacklisted as terrorist organizations by many in the West.
Hamas has been in power since taking control of Gaza in 2007. We have had four wars with Israel, including the conflict last May.
In 2019, Islamic Jihad intensified after the Israeli assassination of Jabari’s predecessor, Baha Abu al-Ata. Hamas did not take part in the conflict.
Hamas’s move could prove crucial in the face of pressure from some to improve Gaza’s economic situation.
Lynn Hastings, the UN humanitarian chief in Palestine, called on the parties to the conflict to allow “fuel, food and medical supplies” to be sent to Gaza amid the deepening crisis.
On Friday, the Health Ministry said a “five-year-old girl” had died in Israeli fire.
A girl named Ala Kadum had pink ribbons in her hair and a scar on her forehead as her father carried her body to the funeral.
The strike in Gaza followed the arrest of two senior Islamic jihadists in the occupied West Bank, including Bassem al-Saadi, whom Israel accuses of planning the latest attack. .
Israel expanded its anti-Islamic jihad campaign on Saturday, saying it had arrested 19 people in the West Bank who it said were members of the group.
Israel has launched an often deadly offensive in the West Bank since mid-March in response to deadly attacks on Israelis.