Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s fourth commander dies as Israeli airstrikes kill at least 20 | world news

A fourth Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander has been killed in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip that left young children among the dead.

The death of Ali Ghali, who was in charge of the militant group’s rocket-launching force, raised the death toll to 25 in a series of Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, according to the Ministry of Health of the Gaza Strip. exclave.

Ghali died when his apartment was hit early Thursday.

Israeli army spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told Israel Army Radio that two other militants were also killed in the attack and the rest of the building remained intact.

“The apartment was very specifically targeted,” Mr Hagari said. “I hope this will lead to a reduction, blow and disruption of the Islamic Jihad’s rocket capabilities.”

Ali Ghali is the fourth militant PIJ leader to be killed in Israeli airstrikes in recent days. Photo: Israel Defense Forces

According to Palestinian media, the strikes targeted the top floor of a building in a Qatari-built residential complex in the southern Gaza Strip, killing at least two people, including the commander.

Islamic Jihad said Ghali was in charge of its rocket team and a member of its armed group’s decision-making body.

The latest violence is the worst fighting between Israeli and Palestinian militants in Gaza in months.

This comes at a time of rising tensions and rising violence over the past year in the West Bank.

A damaged building, where Islamic Jihad commander Ali Ghali was killed in an Israeli strike, is seen in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip May 11, 2023. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
The damaged building where Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Ali Ghali was killed
Palestinians inspect the rubble of a house after it was hit in an airstrike.  Photo: AP
Palestinians inspect the rubble of a house after it was hit in an airstrike. Photo: AP

Gaza’s health ministry said 25 people had been killed since the fighting began.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military said 23 people had been killed in its series of airstrikes.

A state-run Egyptian television channel reported that Egypt, a frequent mediator between the parties, had brokered a ceasefire.

It came after intense fighting on Wednesday when rockets rained down on southern and central Israel and airstrikes pounded Gaza.

But with the violence continuing into the early hours of Thursday, it appears neither side is backing down.

The consequences of a strike on Gaza.  Photo: AP
The consequences of a strike on Gaza. Photo: AP

The Israeli army says it targeted the militants with what it says were precision strikes, but children, including a four-year-old, were also killed.

Hagari, the military spokesman, told Army Radio that a quarter of the rockets launched during this round of fighting fell in Gaza, killing at least four people, including a 10-year-old girl, two 16 years old and one 51 years old. -old man.

The first Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday that sparked the firefight killed three senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commanders in their homes and at least 10 civilians – mostly women and children.

The PIJ said the dead also include the wives and some of the children of the three commanders.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that the commanders killed were Khalil Bahitini, who led Islamic operations in northern Gaza, Tarek Azaldin who allegedly coordinated attacks in the West Bank from Gaza and Jahed Ahman, a senior member of the group’s military council.

Learn more:
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Gaza collects
Commanders Khalil Bahitini (L), Jahed Ahman and Tarek Azaldin were killed in previous strikes

In a primetime televised address on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Israel had struck a blow at the activists.

But he warned: “This round is not over.”

“We tell the terrorists and those who send them: we see you everywhere. You cannot hide, and we choose the place and time to strike you,” he said, adding that Israel would decide also when “calm is restored”. .

Photo taken in southern Israel showing rockets fired by the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.  Photo: AP
Photo taken in southern Israel showing rockets fired by the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad. Photo: AP

Israel says its airstrikes were a response to a barrage of rocket fire launched by the PIJ last week in response to the death of one of its members following a hunger strike while in Israeli custody .

In a sign that both sides have tried to exercise restraint in violence, Israel has avoided attacks on the ruling Hamas militant group, targeting only the smaller, more militant Islamic Jihad faction.

Hamas, meanwhile, seemed to be on the sidelines.


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