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Recent Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip resulted in the killing of a sixth leader in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement.
Sources in the Palestinian Ministry of Health said that a second person was killed in an Israeli raid that targeted Sakina’s apartment in Al-Nasr neighborhood, northwest of Gaza City, while five others were wounded.
The death toll from the Palestinians rose to 33 and the wounded to 111, while the current confrontation resulted in the death of one Israeli and the wounding of several others, as a result of a rocket that fell yesterday in the Rohovot area, south of Tel Aviv.
The Israeli army launched a new wave of air raids on targets inside the Gaza Strip after the Islamic Jihad movement fired missiles towards the Jerusalem area for the first time in the outbreak of the current wave of escalation.
Meanwhile, hopes of an imminent ceasefire are fading on the fourth day of the escalation.
An informed Egyptian source said that the negotiations that Egypt is conducting with both Israel and the Islamic Jihad movement have been frozen due to Israel’s rejection of any conditions by the movement.
The Jihad movement adhered to several conditions, including handing over the body of Khader Adnan, who died in Israeli prisons after his hunger strike, and Israel’s commitment not to target the leaders of the Jihad movement, before starting armistice negotiations between it and Israel.
The Israeli Army Radio had reported that the Netanyahu government had informed Cairo of freezing negotiations and Israel’s continuation of the ongoing military operations in the Gaza Strip.
But Egypt said talks are still continuing for a ceasefire between the two sides.
And Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper confirmed Israel’s withdrawal from the ceasefire negotiations, after an assessment of the situation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conducted today with the security and army leaders.
An Islamic Jihad official told the BBC that Israel had rejected the offer, and that it was obstructing Egypt’s efforts to reach a cease-fire.
It is reported that Israel is working to expand the scope of the attack on the Gaza Strip.
On the other hand, rockets continued to be fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, as explosions were heard as a result of the Iron Dome system’s attempt to intercept it.
Rockets hit an area near Jerusalem for the first time in four days of fighting between Israel and militants in Gaza, according to reports.
Local media say that a rocket was launched from Gaza and landed near the Jewish settlement of Bat Ayin in the occupied West Bank, 16 km south of Jerusalem.
One Israeli was killed and five were wounded, according to the Israeli ambulance service.
And the Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that the death toll since the start of the escalation has risen to 31, including six children and three women, and the injuries to 106, including 36 children and 21 women.
The firing of rockets towards Jerusalem, which Israel considers its capital, is a milestone in the escalation by Palestinian militants. This is the first time that rockets have fallen in an area near Jerusalem since a 10-day conflict between the two sides in May 2021.
The resumption of fighting comes after hours of relative calm, with which hopes for a truce were raised. Israel launched an air strike on militant sites in the early hours of Friday, while there were no missile attacks last night.
The fighting between the two sides this week is the fiercest since last August, which witnessed three days of violent fighting between Israel and the Islamic Jihad movement, which killed 49 Palestinians in Gaza.
Israel said the three leaders of Islamic Jihad were planning attacks when they were killed in a raid on Tuesday morning. Israel also killed two other leaders – the commander of the Islamic Jihad missile unit and his deputy – in airstrikes on Thursday.
The Israeli military says more than 850 rockets were fired from Gaza over the past four days, most of which were intercepted by Iron Dome in open areas.
The Israeli military says about a fifth of these rockets landed in Gaza.
According to the Israeli army, four people, including three children, were killed in Gaza as a result of these missiles falling as soon as they were intercepted, but Palestinian sources did not confirm this.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had said earlier that military operations would continue as long as necessary.
Gaza is running out of fuel, with the crossings to and from Israel closed for the fourth day in a row.
The cease-fire agreement, which Egypt is mediating to conclude between Israel and the Palestinian factions in Gaza, had encountered an obstacle, as Egyptian sources announced earlier, without clarifying its nature.
On Thursday, the head of the political department in the Islamic Jihad Movement, Muhammad al-Hindi, met with the head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service, Abbas Kamel, in Cairo, before sources reported that an Egyptian security delegation was going to Israel to discuss the proposed truce.
Sources indicate that Egypt tried to reach a cease-fire agreement between the two sides on Tuesday and Wednesday night, but its efforts were unsuccessful after what leaders in the Islamic Jihad movement described as “Israel’s procrastination in making a commitment to stop the policy of assassinations and to hand over the body of the Palestinian detainee, Khader Adnan, to the movement.” .
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said, Thursday, in press statements that “Egypt’s efforts to calm things down and resume the political process have not yet borne fruit.”
Shoukry, during his meeting with his Jordanian, French and German counterparts in Berlin, urged peace-sponsors to “intervene and stop the attacks.” He said that Israel should “stop unilateral measures aimed at destroying the future of the Palestinian state.”
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, expressed his “deep concern” about the violence between Israel and armed groups in Gaza, and warned of “the need for Israel to abide by international law during the recent events.” In a statement issued by his spokesman, Farhan Haq, he said that he Condemns the loss of civilian life that occurred during the Israeli air raids that targeted leaders in the Islamic Jihad movement, and Palestinian civilians, including women and children.
The statement also condemned the “indiscriminate firing of rockets” from Gaza into Israel, considering it a “violation of international humanitarian law.”
Guterres urged all parties to “exercise maximum restraint and work to end the fighting immediately,” reiterating his commitment to support the Palestinians and Israelis “to resolve the conflict on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements.”
Israel closed all crossings between it and the Gaza Strip, and restricted the movement of people and goods since Tuesday.
On Thursday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said that the current escalation in the Gaza Strip is exacerbating the already “harsh” humanitarian situation for the Palestinian refugees in the Strip, including many women and children,” considering that “the loss of life among civilians, including women Children are a real tragedy.”
In an official statement, UNRWA indicated that it “continues to respond to people’s needs, and continues to provide basic services, including food distribution, health and sanitation services, solid waste transportation and operation of water wells.”
The agency, whose schools in the Gaza Strip have been closed by the current escalation, called on all parties to the conflict to “protect civilians at all times,” saying it supports “efforts to reach a ceasefire so that civilians, including Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, have Some comfort and safety.
The number of victims of more than a year of escalating Israeli-Palestinian violence has exceeded 140 Palestinians, at least 19 people from the Israeli side, and one foreigner, since January.