Wednesday, August 17

Crossfire between the West Bank and Gaza continues

The actual escalation of violence between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza does not stop In the early hours of this Saturday there have been multiple exchanges of fire that raised the number of dead Palestinians to 11, thus extending the tension to a second day. Among the deceased is the number two of the Islamic Jihad in the Strip.

The Gaza Ministry of Health has reported this Saturday the death of a Palestinian in the city of Khan Younis, which adds to the 10 registered on Friday. In addition, the number of wounded already amounts to 90, the vast majority in the Strip. The emergency services in Israel, meanwhile, reported that at least eight people had to be hospitalized for injuries sustained while running to bomb shelters.

As reported this Saturday by the Israeli Army about 160 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards its territory during the night, especially towards the localities near the enclave. The vast majority of these shells were intercepted by anti-aircraft defense systems while the rest landed in unpopulated areas. In parallel, the Israel Air Force continued to attack Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets in the Strip, both through drones and fighter planes, and hitting sites allegedly used for the manufacture of weapons and for the production and launch of rockets.

Among the 10 killed on Friday were at least four YIP members, including the group’s number two, Taysir al Jabari, and a five-year-old girl. The Palestinian Ministry of Health counted about 75 injured on Friday, while the emergency services in Israel reported that four people had to be hospitalized.

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During the night, moreover, a joint operation between the Israeli Army, the Border Police and the Internal Intelligence Service ended the arrest of 20 people in the West Bankof which 19 would belong to the Islamic Jihad.

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Israeli local media indicated this Saturday that the Army is prepared for an extensive operation, which could last for a week and quoted military sources acknowledging that at the moment there are no negotiations to end the violence.

The actual voltage spike started Friday with a strong Israeli “pre-emptive” offensive on YIP targets in Gaza in the face of what the military described as an “imminent threat” of attack by the group in retaliation for the arrest on Monday of Bassem Saadi, one of the YIP’s leaders, during a raid in the West Bank.

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