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Israel-Gaza battle escalates into second day with airstrikes, rockets



Nine more Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks. (Representative)


An Israeli plane was struck in Gaza and Palestinian militants fired rockets at Israeli cities on Saturday as fighting dragged on for a second day, ending more than a year of relative peace on the border.

Israel said on Friday that it had launched a special operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group after a senior commander was killed in a sudden airstrike on a tall building in Gaza City.

Nine more Palestinians, including at least four Islamic Jihad militants and a child, were killed and 79 wounded in the Israeli attacks, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

In the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military said it had captured 19 Islamic Jihad terrorists in an overnight arrest raid.

Palestinian militants fired at least 160 rockets along the border, the military said, some towards Tel Aviv, the commercial hub in Israel. Most of the missiles were intercepted and some people were lightly injured while fleeing to the shelters.

The official said that Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar have begun mediation to end the violence, but with no success so far, according to a Palestinian official with knowledge of the efforts.

An official of the Western-backed Palestinian Authority condemned the Israeli attacks.

“We call on the international community to intervene and provide security to our people,” Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh said on Twitter.

Moving forward will largely depend on Hamas, the Islamic terrorist group that controls Gaza, and whether it chooses to engage in the fighting.

Tensions escalated this week when Israeli forces arrested an Islamic Jihad commander in the West Bank, prompting threats of retaliation from the group.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Friday’s attacks thwarted an immediate and concrete attack by Islamic Jihad.

The border was largely calm since May 2021, when 11 days of fierce fighting between Israel and militants killed at least 250 people in Gaza and 13 in Israel.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)