The Palestinian Health Ministry said Saturday that 24 people have been killed and over 200 more injured in the Gaza Strip since fighting broke out between Israel and the Islamic Jihad.
Among the civilians killed in the Israeli bombardment were a 60-year-old woman, 23-year-old Duniyana Al-Amour, and a 5-year-old girl, identified as Alaa Abdullah Riyad Qaddoum. Six children in total have been killed.
On Saturday five Palestinians were killed, among them four children, in an incident near a mosque in the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza. The dead were aged five, nine, ten and 11 and 19, but Israel blamed an errant Islamic Jihad rocket, stating it did not carry out strikes in the area.
According to the United Nations, 31 Gazan families have already been left homeless, and much of Gaza's basic service facilities are "at risk," with fuel "due to run out" on Saturday.
The Palestinian Ministry of Education also said that the Al-Quds Open University in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza was also bombed, heavily damaging classrooms.
One Gazan resident of a three-story building which was completely destroyed by Israeli air-bombings on Saturday told Falastin TV: “We started running without taking anything with us. We told the kids: run, run. At the last moment we reached the street and the missile hit the building. We are peaceful people, we’re farmers,” the man said.
Issam Adwan, a Palestinian journalist, wrote on his Twitter account: “Only two months ago, I became a father. This is the first Gaza war in the life of baby Sara. I always felt it was a mistake to bring a child into this hell, no child should live like this."
Israel's military spokesperson said around 15 people have been killed, noting that 10 Islamic Jihad members were killed in an airstrike as they were on their way to carry out attacks on Israeli targets using anti-tank missiles and sniper rifles.
The military also confirmed it has assassinated Islamic Jihad official Tayseer al-Jabari, head of the organization's military wing in the northern Gaza Strip.
The tense standoff with Islamic Jihad over the course of the week officially became a military operation after the airstrike to kill al-Jabari.
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.