Gaza: renewed violence between Israel and Islamic Jihad


The situation continues to deteriorate between Islamic Jihad and Israel. The strikes in the Jewish state killed at least 12 people in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. At the same time, new salvos of rockets have targeted Israel, in an armed escalation which does not give for the moment any sign of appeasement. On Wednesday morning, sirens of warning sounded in several Israeli cities around Gaza, including Ashkelon, after new rocket fire that precipitated in the wake of Israeli bombing of the enclave.

These Israeli strikes have so far killed twelve, including members of al-Quds forces, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, according to him. This brings to 22 the number of Palestinians killed since Tuesday in Israeli operations targeting the armed group including a commander of the organization and his wife. The Ministry of Health in the Palestinian enclave also reports about fifty wounded. On Tuesday around 4 am, the Israeli army and intelligence services (Shin Beth) conducted a targeted operation against Baha Abu al-Ata, top Islamic Jihad commander, and his wife, Asma, in their north-west apartment. is from the Gaza Strip. Islamic Jihad, an armed group present in Gaza but not controlling the enclave, which is in the hands of Hamas, another Islamist movement, launched a barrage of rockets at Israel without killing them.

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90% of the projectiles intercepted

Since Tuesday, at least 250 rockets have been fired from Gaza to Israel, according to the latest assessment of the Israeli army, which said it intercepted 90% of these projectiles with its Iron Dome missile system. One rocket damaged one house, another a factory, and another struck a highway, passing a few yards away from striking cars. Tuesday, schools, colleges, universities and other public institutions had been closed until Tel Aviv, the economic metropolis, located about 70 kilometers from Gaza. On Wednesday, all public institutions remained within 40 km of the Palestinian enclave.

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A 41-year-old father of five, Baha Abu Al-Ata joined the ranks of Islamic Jihad in the 1990s and was his commander for northern Gaza. "He was responsible for several terrorist attacks, rocket attacks on the State of Israel in recent months and intended to perpetrate impending attacks," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, adding that Tuesday's clashes may to extend. According to the head of the Israeli army, Aviv Kochavi, Abu al-Ata "had tried by all means" to sabotage a truce between Israel and Hamas including orchestrating rocket fire to Israel.

Islamic Jihad and Hamas

Hamas and Israel have waged three wars in the enclave since 2008. But this group, unlike Islamic Jihad, had approved a truce negotiated through the UN, Egypt, a border country of Gaza, and Qatar, the emirate of the Gulf, which has both relations with Gazan groups and Israel. If the Israeli army holds Hamas responsible for all attacks from this enclave, it has officially targeted for the moment that the positions of Islamic Jihad, a key element that has not escaped the local press.

"For the first time in the recent era, Israel made a distinction between Hamas and Islamic Jihad," influential political commentator Ben Caspit summed up in the newspaper's pages on Wednesday. Maariv. "Israel thus deviates from its concrete principle that Hamas, as the sovereign power in Gaza, must pay the price for everything that happens in Gaza," he adds. " Stop your attacks, or you will take more blows, "warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday addressing Islamic Jihad. The Prime Minister made this statement at the beginning of a meeting of his "Security Cabinet" and as Israeli forces intensify the deadly strikes against the positions of Islamic Jihad.

In an attempt to curb this escalation of violence, UN envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov is expected in Cairo for talks with the Egyptians, who enjoy a strong influence on Gaza and official relations with Israel, a diplomatic source told Agence France-Presse. "The situation remains very complicated and the risk of escalation is high," said the source. In London, the Foreign Office supported "the efforts of the UN and the Egyptians" for a "rapid de-escalation".

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