Officials from the local health department said that a young girl was among the victims, along with dozens of others.
A Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) member was arrested earlier this week, prompting Israel’s Prime Minister to order the operation, which he called a response to an “immediate threat.”
“In an initial response,” the PIJ fired more than 100 rockets into Israel.
Iron Dome, Israel’s missile defense system, nabbed the vast majority of them. In several Israeli cities, sirens could be heard.
Late Friday night, Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) said it resumed airstrikes against militant targets.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid of Israel said earlier that “Israel carried out a precise counter-terror operation against an immediate threat” during a televised address.
The IDF claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they targeted PIJ-affiliated targets. There is also the Palestine Tower in Gaza City, which was struck by a loud blast and engulfed in flames.
Local health officials say that four PIJ militants, including Tayseer Jabari, and a five-year-old girl have been killed since the strikes began.
Another 55 people are reported to have been injured.
Military officials in Israel say they “assume about 15” militants were killed, according to a statement.
Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s interior minister, told Channel 12 News that: “In the end, we don’t know what will happen here… However, this may take some time… This conflict could go on for a long time and be difficult.”
In Tehran, PIJ Secretary General Ziyad al-Nakhala made the following statement: “We will respond forcefully to this aggression, and there will be a fight in which our people will win”.
In this conflict, “there are no red lines… and Tel Aviv will be under resistance rockets.”
meanwhile, Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, said that armed groups were “united” in battle and would not remain silent.
PIJ’s West Bank leader, Bassem Saadi, was taken into custody by Israeli authorities late Monday night. Israeli Arabs and Palestinians launched a wave of attacks that killed 17 Israelis and two Ukrainian citizens in the Jenin area.
He was detained as part of an ongoing series of arrest operations. Two of the assailants were natives of Jenin.
Following the arrest of Bassem Saadi, Israel tightened security along its border with Gaza, warning that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) intended to attack both civilians and soldiers. Many of Israel’s southern towns and villages were cut off from supplies due to road closures.
Iran-backed PIJ, based in Syria, is one of the most powerful militant groups in the Gaza Strip. It has carried out a slew of attacks against Israel, including rocket fire and shootings.
Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) engaged in a five-day conflict in November 2019 after Israel killed a PIJ commander it claimed was planning an imminent attack.
At least 34 Palestinians were killed and 111 others were injured in the violence, and 63 Israelis were taken to the hospital.
At least 25 Palestinians were categorized as militants, including those who were preparing to fire rockets, according to Israel.
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