Israel Launches Fresh Strikes Against Islamic Jihad Targets in Gaza

Published November 15th, 2019 - 05:22 GMT
IDF launches fresh strikes in Gaza  (Twitter)
IDF launches fresh strikes in Gaza (Twitter)
Highlights
The assassination sparked the heaviest fighting with Gaza militants since May.

Israel's army said early Friday it had launched fresh strikes against Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza, despite a ceasefire in place since Thursday morning.

"The IDF (Israeli Defence Force) is currently striking Islamic Jihad terror targets in the Gaza strip," the army said in a WhatsApp message to reporters.

The ceasefire had been agreed between Israel and Palestinian militants after two days of fighting in Gaza saw thirty-four Palestinians killed in exchanges of fire.

The fighting first erupted early on Tuesday after Israel killed a senior commander of the Iranian-backed militant group who was said to be behind a string of rocket attacks and who Israel said was believed to be planning a cross-border infiltration.

The assassination sparked the heaviest fighting with Gaza militants since May.

Islamic Jihad fired some 450 rockets toward Israel, while Israel responded with scores of airstrikes.

Gaza's ruling Hamas militant group, much larger and more powerful than Islamic Jihad, stayed out of the latest escalation - an indication it would be brief.

Israel typically does not publicly acknowledge deals with militant groups, and on Thursday officials said the only unwritten agreement was that Israel would hold fire so long as Islamic Jihad did.

Israel's military spokesmen listed a series of accomplishments after the two-day spasm of violence, including the killing of some 25 militants in targeted strikes.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said the policy had "proved itself" and would continue.

"Everyone who was a top military official, who was set to carry out and was involved in terror or rocket firing against Israel was eliminated," he told Israeli Army Radio. "And we intend to continue with this."

Critics of Israel's contentious policy say it amounts to extrajudicial killings that endanger civilians.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


Copyright @ 2019 The New Arab.

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