The Israeli military pounded the Gaza Strip on Friday, killing at least 10 people, including a senior Islamic Jihad official, after days of threats from Islamic Jihad brought the area around the enclave to a standstill.
Israel announced the launch of a new military operation targeting Islamic Jihad sites in the Gaza Strip, with Prime Minister Yair Lapid stating that the campaign "will take as long as it needs."
The first airstrike on Friday saw at least ten people killed, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman, and 55 more people wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Israel claimed that at least 15 people were killed in the strikes, identifying 10 militants who they claimed were imminently about to attack Israelis.
Among them was Tayseer al-Jabari, the head of the organization's military wing in the northern Gaza Strip, prompting the Islamic Jihad to fire "over 100 rockets" toward Israel. No injuries were reported.
According to the Israeli army, al-Jabari held senior positions in the organization including head of operations, and was in charge of coordination with Hamas. Al-Jabari had recently been pushing for the use of anti-tank fire against Israeli military and civilian targets.
According to a senior Israeli security official, whether the violence on Friday spirals into an all-out war will depend on Hamas' willingness to join the fighting. Ismail Haniyeh, the organization's political chief, maintained that "all options are open," though Israel claims that it has information proving that Hamas has not yet been involved in the rocket launches.
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Since Tuesday, Israel had set up roadblocks in areas around the Gaza Strip after Islamic Jihad threatened retaliation for this week's arrest of one of its senior officials in the West Bank, Bassam al-Saadi.
In May 2021, Israel and Gaza's militant groups exchanged fire in an 11-day war that spilled over into mixed Arab-Jewish cities in Israel and the West Bank, leaving over 250 Palestinians and over a dozen Israelis dead.