Gaza (Palestinian Territories) – Today, Saturday, the Palestinian armed factions preempted the Israeli moves within Operation Defensive Arrow to strike Tel Aviv, as part of the new escalation, despite mediation efforts to end this new escalation, which since Tuesday resulted in the killing of 33 Palestinians, including a leader in the Islamic Jihad movement who was killed Friday. And one person in Israel.
The Israeli army said that the Palestinian armed factions in the Gaza Strip fired 1,099 rockets towards Israeli territory, 340 of which were intercepted.
This came in a statement by the army, which it posted on Twitter, on Saturday morning, with the continuation of the Israeli bombardment of the Strip since dawn on Tuesday, which is matched by the firing of missiles that reached central areas of Israel.
Until eight o’clock on Saturday morning local time (5:00 GMT), the Palestinian factions fired 1,099 rockets towards Israel, 865 of which crossed the border, and 340 of them were intercepted, according to the same source.
In its statement, the Israeli army said that since the start of its military operation, which it called “The Defensive Arrow”, it has attacked 325 targets in the Strip.
Meanwhile, the Hebrew newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, said that the sirens sounded again on Saturday morning, in the settlements of “Sderot”, “Nir Am”, “Efim”, “Mafilsim” and “Nir Oz” in the “Gaza Cover” area bordering the Strip. With a missile salvo fired at it.
Earlier on Saturday, the Israeli army said that its warplanes had raided the “operational headquarters” of a prominent leader in the “Islamic Jihad” movement in the Gaza Strip, adding in a statement, “The headquarters was used by Muhammad Abu al-Ata, a senior member of the missile unit.”
On Friday evening, the Israeli Army Radio announced the failure of Egyptian mediation efforts to achieve a cease-fire agreement on Friday night – Saturday between the Israeli side and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.
Egypt, the traditional mediator between Israel and the Palestinians, is working to reach a cease-fire, while international calls are increasing for an end to the most dangerous escalation since last August between the two sides.
The radio reported, quoting an official, that “the mediators are still awaiting the approval of the concerned authorities on the Egyptian proposal for a truce,” noting that “the Egyptian proposal for a truce does not include an Israeli commitment to stop the assassinations.”
On Friday evening, a Palestinian source familiar with the truce talks, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed in a statement to Agence France-Presse that “Egypt presented a new formula for a ceasefire that the Palestinian side will study,” and is also awaiting Israel’s response.
Israeli media sources said that the Hebrew state had received an “amended version” of an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire, without giving further details.
This came after a statement made by a source in the “Islamic Jihad” movement, in which he said that Israel is the one obstructing Egypt’s efforts to cease fire.
On Friday evening, the source affirmed that his movement “has so far adhered to its demand related to stopping the Israeli assassinations and reaching calm that depends on Israel’s acceptance of this condition.”
On Friday evening, a senior military commander in the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement, was killed in an Israeli air strike that targeted a residential apartment in western Gaza City.
And the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip said, on Friday evening, that their fight (against Israel) continues, and that they will continue their commitment to “the blood of the martyrs, whatever the cost.”
This came in a statement issued by the “Joint Room”, which includes the military wings of the factions, most notably the “Hamas” and “Jihad” movements, in which it mourned the leader of the “Jihad” movement, Iyad al-Hassani, who was assassinated by the Israeli army earlier, on Friday.
In its statement, it said, “The martyrdom of the leaders is proof that they are at the heart of the battle and the field, and at the forefront of the confrontation in the face of the brutal aggression.”
For its part, the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, mourned the leader, Al-Hassani, and said in a statement that he was “responsible for coordinating between the leadership of the Al-Qassam Brigades and the Al-Quds Brigades during the Battle of the Free People (represented by launching a missile strike on Wednesday with hundreds of missiles on Israeli sites and targets).” “.
The latest toll from the Gaza Ministry of Health shows that 33 Palestinians have been killed since Tuesday.
Among the dead were six Islamic Jihad leaders and fighters from the same movement and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
On Friday, the Gaza Strip witnessed an Israeli bombardment of the cities of Gaza and Rafah, and Palestinian rockets were fired at Israel.
Sirens were heard in the city of Ashkelon and various places, all the way to Jerusalem and the Gush Etzion settlements, south of the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.
And a Palestinian security source said that dozens of rockets were fired on Friday at the city of Ashkelon.
The Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement, said, “Revenge of the Free People… The Palestinian resistance launches a focused missile strike in two phases towards occupied Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the enemy’s cities and settlements, in response to the assassinations and the continued aggression against the Palestinian people.”
The Jihad movement said, “The bombing of Jerusalem is a message, and everyone should understand its purpose. Jerusalem is before our eyes, and what is happening there is not isolated from Gaza.”
The Gush Etzion settlement council confirmed that a rocket landed near the Bat Ein settlement, in the vicinity of an Arab village.
Witnesses in Gaza spoke of three air raids on empty areas in Rafah in the south of the Strip, which did not lead to injuries. In the Israeli towns bordering the Gaza Strip, whose residents have been living in shelters for three days, sirens sounded several times from morning until night.
The Israeli police said on Friday that it had been informed that a house in the city of Sderot was hit directly, without reporting any injuries.
On Friday evening, the Secretary-General of the Lebanese Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, confirmed in a televised speech that communication is in place with the leaders of the factions, warning that the party “will not hesitate” to take any step if responsibility requires it.
Nasrallah said, “We are in constant contact with the leaders of the factions, we monitor the situation and its developments, and we offer possible assistance within certain limits, but at any time the responsibility imposes on us to take any step or steps, we will not hesitate, God willing.”
For its part, Hamas said in a press statement that the head of its political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, had received a phone call from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Abdollahian, during which Haniyeh stressed that “the enemy bears responsibility for what is happening because of the crime of assassinating leaders and targeting civilians in their homes, and that the resistance is united in the field and in political support.” .
Likewise, the Islamic Jihad movement said that its Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhala assured the Iranian foreign minister in a phone call that “the resistance in the field is in excellent condition and continues to confront the Zionist aggression against the Gaza Strip until the attacks stop and the enemy accepts the Palestinian conditions.”
The streets were almost empty on Friday in the Gaza Strip, and shops closed their doors, with the exception of bakeries and some food stores that were partially opened.
And the Israeli police announced that a person was killed Thursday in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv, by a missile that hit a residential building, while the emergency services reported five injuries in Israel from shrapnel resulting from explosions since the launch of the first Palestinian missile on Wednesday.
The Israeli military stated that at least 866 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. The army confirms that 25 percent of them fell in the same sector, killing four people, including three minors. Agence France-Presse was unable to obtain comment from Hamas and Islamic Jihad on this information.
He said that since the start of his “preventive” operation, he had targeted 254 targets of the Islamic Jihad organization.
On Thursday, the European Union called for “an immediate cease-fire that puts an end to Israeli military operations in Gaza and the firing of rockets into Israel, which is unacceptable,” while Washington urged all parties to “ensure that the killing of civilians is avoided and (…) a reduction in violence.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres confirmed that he was following the violence with “grave concern”.
Matthew Miller, a spokesman for the US State Department, said that Wendy Sherman, Deputy Secretary of State, stressed, in a call with Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer, “the urgent need to reach a cease-fire agreement in order to prevent any further loss of civilian life.”
As for Morocco, which normalized its relations with Israel in 2020, it said that it “strongly condemns the recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, which left many victims among innocent civilians,” according to a source in the Foreign Ministry.
The population of the Gaza Strip, numbering about 2.3 million people, suffers from poverty and unemployment and is subject to an Israeli blockade, as the Strip has witnessed repeated wars with Israel since 2008.