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Senior militant among 4 dead in Israeli attacks on Gaza

#Senior #militant #among #dead #Israeli #attacks #Gaza

A top Islamic Jihad militant was killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip on Friday, prompting the militant group to warn Israel that it had “started a war.”

A child was among four people killed in the strikes, the enclave health ministry said.

The Israeli army said the attacks were part of an operation “against targets of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group”.

“The IDF (Israeli military) is currently striking in the Gaza Strip. A special situation has been declared on the Israeli home front.”

Islamic Jihad said Israel had “started a war against our people”.

“We must defend ourselves and our people together. We will not allow the enemy’s policies to undermine the resistance and our national tenacity,” the group said in a statement.

Palestinians in Gaza City told AFP they witnessed air strikes on an apartment in the central Rimal district.

Gaza’s Health Ministry reported that four people were killed, “including a five-year-old girl who was targeted by the Israeli occupation.”

Islamic Jihad said it mourned “the great jihadist commander Tayseer al-Jabari ‘Abu Mahmud’ who was killed in a Zionist assassination attempt in Gaza City,” it said in a statement.

The attacks come four days after Israel closed its two border crossings with Gaza and restricted the movement of Israeli civilians living near the border, citing security concerns.

The measures follow the arrest of two senior members of Islamic Jihad in the occupied West Bank, which has a strong presence in the Gaza Strip.

Before launching airstrikes, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told militants in Gaza: “Your time is up.

“To our enemies, and in particular to the leadership of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, I would like to emphasize: your time is up. The threat will be eliminated one way or another,” he said.

On Friday afternoon, the Israeli military banned large gatherings in communities within 80 kilometers (50 miles) of the Gaza Strip border until Saturday night.

The measures will be followed by four days of road closures and other movement restrictions in the border area.

Palestinians, including patients and those on Israeli work permits, have been barred from leaving the Gaza Strip since Tuesday, while the goods crossing was also closed.

Gaza’s only power plant is at risk of imminent failure due to a lack of fuel supplies from Israel, its manager warned on Thursday.

The closure of the border area this week follows a raid by security forces in Jenin district in the northern West Bank.

Israeli forces arrested Bassem al-Saadi and another senior Islamic Jihad figure. A 17-year-old member of the group was shot dead by Israeli forces during the raid.

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