London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Gaza: Sixth militant commander killed in Israeli air strike as

Gaza: Sixth militant commander killed in Israeli air strike as

Israel has killed a sixth senior leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in an air strike in the Gaza Strip, as fighting between them escalated.

It said Iyad al-Hassani had directed the militant group's operations since his predecessor was killed on Tuesday.

Friday's strike, which medics said also killed another person, followed a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza, some of which reached near Jerusalem.

The chances of an imminent ceasefire appeared slim after the exchange.

However, a Palestinian official familiar with the talks taking place in Egypt told the BBC that Egyptian officials "presented this evening a new proposal for a ceasefire, which is being studied now". Egypt was also waiting for Israel's response, they added.

At least 33 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed - about half of them civilians - since Israel carried out a series of air strikes early on Tuesday that killed three top PIJ commanders, the Palestinian health ministry there says. Another 147 people have been wounded.

One Israeli civilian has been killed and five wounded by Palestinian rocket fire in the same period, Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service says.


The fighting which resumed on Friday came after 12 hours of relative calm, during which there were several Israeli air strikes but no Palestinian rocket attacks.

Around midday PIJ militants launched dozens of rockets. Some were aimed towards the Jerusalem area, about 65km (40 miles) from Gaza.

The Israeli military said two rockets heading to Jerusalem were intercepted, but another rocket reportedly landed in an open field near the Jewish settlement of Bat Ayin in the occupied West Bank, about 16km south of the city.

PIJ said "the firing of rockets at Jerusalem is a message, and everyone should understand its aim".

Targeting Jerusalem, which Israel considers its capital, is meant to signal to Israel that the group is prepared to connect events in the city to those in Gaza.

It is the first time rockets have landed near there since a 10-day conflict between Israel and militants in Gaza in May 2021.

Israel responded to Friday's rocket fire with intensive air strikes.

Warplanes hit a multi-storey residential building in the northern Nasser area of Gaza City, killing two people. Five others were wounded, including a child, according to rescuers.

A PIJ spokesman confirmed the death of Iyad al-Hassani, according to AFP news agency.

Sources said Hassani was deputy head of Islamic Jihad's armed wing and the most senior figure in the group to be targeted by Israel so far in the fighting.

Israel's air force said Hassani had replaced Khalil al-Bahtini, who was killed on Tuesday, as PIJ's "commanding officer of the operation in the Gaza Strip" and described him as a "significant figure".

The identity of the second person was not immediately clear, but the air force described them as a PIJ "operative".

An Israeli official told the BBC hitting the senior chain of command was also meant as a warning to Hamas, the dominant armed group in Gaza, which so far is thought to have stayed on the sidelines of the current escalation.

More rockets were fired at southern Israeli communities following the strike and Israel said there was likely to be more long-range fire in response to what it called the "targeted killing" of Hassani.

On Thursday, another two top PIJ commanders - the head of its rocket launching force and his deputy - were killed in Israeli strikes in southern Gaza.

Rockets reached a block of settlements south of Jerusalem on Friday


This week's fighting is the heaviest since three days of hostilities between Israel and PIJ last August, in which 49 Palestinians were killed in Gaza.

At least 973 rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza over the past four days, with 761 crossing into Israeli territory, according to the military. Most have been intercepted or have landed in open areas.

The military says 181 of the rockets fell short inside Gaza and that they have killed four people there, including three children. Islamic Jihad denies the allegation.

The military also says its strikes have hit 254 PIJ targets in Gaza. According to Gaza's housing ministry, 28 homes have been destroyed, 37 damaged so badly that they are uninhabitable, and 495 partly damaged.

Meanwhile, a British surgeon stranded in Gaza has told the BBC that more than 140 "desperately sick" patients there, most of whom have cancer, are being denied urgently-needed treatment while the crossing to Israel remains shut for a fourth day.

"The doctors I work with here have got multiple examples of people who are in desperate need of cancer treatment," Professor Nick Maynard said.

"These treatments are undoubtedly being delayed and potentially leading to deaths because of the delays now," he added.

Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
News roundup
Good day, everyone! We've got some gripping stories for you today, spanning from the Middle East to Europe, and even a touch of Hollywood.
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
Emmanuel Macron Calls for Snap Election
Jordan Bardella: Young Far-Right Leader Poised for Future Political Influence in France
World's Oldest Privately Owned Book Auctioned for $3.8 Million
Animal Rights Activists Deface King Charles' Portrait in Protest
Dutch Military Intel Uncovers Extensive Chinese Cyber Espionage
Turkish Student Arrested for Using AI to Cheat in University Exam
Rise in Dengue and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Europe Due to Climate Change
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Far-Right National Rally Dominates France's EU Vote
Macron Calls Snap Legislative Elections After Far-Right Victory
Far-Right Gains Significantly in EU Election
UK Job Market Shows Signs of Recovery
Orban’s Fidesz Party Wins Majority in Hungary’s EU Elections as New Challenger Emerges
Meloni's Far-Right Party Wins European Elections in Italy
Key Insights from the European Union Elections
European Union Elections and Rise of Far-Right Parties
England Loses Over 260,000 Social Rent Homes in a Decade
Campaigners Urge Government to Block Shein's FTSE Listing
First NHS AI-Run Physiotherapy Clinic Launches This Year
British TV Presenter Michael Mosley Found Dead on Greek Island
Ukrainian Forces Claims First Strike on Russia's Su-57 Fighter Jet
Macron Dissolves Parliament and Calls Snap Elections
Russia Adds Yulia Tymoshenko to Wanted List
UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron Tricked by Hoax Caller Posing as Former Ukrainian President
Kate Middleton's Absence from Colonel's Review Due to Chemotherapy
UK Foreign Secretary Deceived by Prank Video Call
Sunak Criticised Over D-Day Exit in BBC Debate
Rishi Sunak Apologizes for Leaving D-Day Commemoration Early
UK Woman Sentenced After Causing Fatal Crash While Sending Selfies
×