Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Fifth Islamic Jihad commander killed in Israeli raid on Gaza

An Israeli airstrike on south of the Gaza Strip has killed Ahmed Abu Daqqa, a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian movement has confirmed.

Four people were also wounded in the attack near Khan Younis, the Gaza health ministry announced.

Israel continued its air attacks on Gaza killing nearly 30 Palestinians, including several leaders of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement. More than 70 people have been injured as the Israeli military offensive enters its third day.

Gaza resistance fighters have fired over 500 rockets in retaliation for the bombings, injuring 25 Israelis and setting off sirens across the occupied territories, including Tel Aviv.

In Washington, the White House has said that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had spoken with his Israeli counterpart Tzachi Hanegbi and reaffirmed the US’ “ironclad support for Israel’s security”.

In Israel, the US Ambassador Tom Nides similarly reinforced Israel’s “right to defend itself” but made no mention of the Palestinian women and children killed by air raids on Gaza.

As tensions flared in the Gaza Strip, Egyptian mediation efforts have continued, with Cairo hosting senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad official Mohammad al-Hindi, part of truce talks to end the fighting, Reuters reports.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi met their French and German counterparts in Berlin on Thursday to discuss peace efforts.

“Egypt’s efforts to calm things down and resume the political process have not yet borne fruit,” Shoukry told reporters in Berlin.

Shoukry called on “peace-sponsoring countries to intervene and stop the attacks” and said Israel must “stop the unilateral measures that aim to destroy the future of the Palestinian state”.

Gaza Strip is home to more than two million people, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the world. It has been under an Israeli air, land and sea blockade since 2007.

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