GAZA: At least 12 Palestinians were killed in a pre-dawn air strike by Israel on the Gaza Strip. Israel claimed that it targeted militants of Islamic Jihad, a Gaza-based militant group.
According to Al Jazeera, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said 12 people were killed in the Gaza Strip and 20 others were injured in the Israeli air attacks.
Explosions hatting residential apartments were heard at about 2am local time on Tuesday in different parts of Gaza.
“From these 12, three of them are Islamic Jihad members while the nine others are citizens – mostly families of these commanders and civilians around the targeted apartments. The 20 injured people were civilians,” the health ministry said.
The Islamic Jihad confirmed that its three leaders were killed in the Israeli air attacks. The deceased were identified as Tariq Izz al-Deen, Jihad al-Ghannam and Khalil al-Bahtini.
“The three were killed along with their wives and a few children,” the group said in a statement which didn’t give details on their wives, how many children were killed, and their ages.
Air strike target apartment
Reuters reported that witnesses said an explosion targeted the top floor of a residential building in Gaza City and a home in the southern city of Rafah.
The Israeli military said the air attacks, codenamed “Operation Shield and Arrow”, targeted three Islamic Jihad members, who it claimed, were responsible for current rockets fired towards Israel.
The previous week, Israeli military missiles pounded the densely-populated Gaza Strip following small-range rockets fired towards Israeli territory after the death of Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan in an Israeli prison.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, Adnan, an activist affiliated with the Islamic Jihad, died after nearly three months on hunger strike. Protesting against his arrest without any charge, Adnan did not eat for 87 days before he died.
Al Jazeera reported that the previous week’s Israeli bombardment damaged multiple localities in Gaza, including al-Safina, al-Baydar and near the al-Zaytoun neighbourhood.