Friday, July 12, 2024

Fourth Palestinian military commander killed in Israeli raid on Gaza as ceasefire falters

Israel has staged more airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip for a third consecutive day, killing several Palestinians, including another top commander of the Islamic Jihad. At least 24 Palestinians, including women and children, have been killed during the recent Israeli escalation against the besieged enclave so far.

The strikes targeted a building in Hamad Residential City, near Khan Younis in southern Gaza strip early on Thursday.

“Ali Ghali… commander of the rocket launch unit… was assassinated in the south of the Gaza Strip along with other martyrs,” said a statement from the al-Quds Brigades, the resistance group’s armed wing.

Israel has been staging back-to-back aerial assaults against the blockaded Palestinian enclave since Tuesday.

At least 24 Palestinians have been killed and dozens of others injured as a result of the incessant aggression. The fatalities include three other senior commanders of the Islamic Jihad as well as their wives and children.

On Wednesday, Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza fired a new batch of retaliatory rockets towards Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv, in response to the regime’s deadly air raids.

Gaza’s joint command of Palestinian resistance groups said in a statement that it had fired “hundreds” of rockets towards the occupied Palestinian territories in an operation codenamed “revenge of the free.”

“The resistance will remain in all fronts of the homeland as one unit, a sword and a shield for our people, our land and our holy sites,” the statement read.

“The resistance is ready for all options, and if the occupation persists in its aggression and arrogance, black days await it,” it added.

Tel Aviv has admitted that the at least 400 rockets were fired towards the territories from the besieged Gaza Strip.

A state-run Egyptian TV station announced that Egypt, a frequent mediator between the sides, had brokered a ceasefire on Wednesday. Israeli officials confirmed that Egypt was trying to facilitate a ceasefire.

But truce efforts appeared to falter as fighting intensified late in the day, with neither side showing any sign of backing down.

In a prime-time TV address, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Israel dealt a harsh blow to the fighters.

“This round is not over,” he said, adding, “We say to the terrorists and those who send them: ‘We see you everywhere. You can’t hide, and we choose the place and time to strike you.’”

On Wednesday, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the Israeli regime’s massacre of civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip as “unacceptable”.

The UN chief urged the occupying regime to “immediately” stop the bloodshed, said Farhan Haq, deputy UN spokesperson.

“Israel must abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law, including the proportional use of force and taking all feasible precautions to spare civilians and civilian objects in the conduct of military operations,” Haq added.

Tor Wennesland, the UN’s Middle East Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, has said the deaths of “civilians” from Israeli air attack was “unacceptable”.

“I condemn the deaths of civilians in the Israeli airstrikes. This is unacceptable,” he wrote in a statement.

“I urge all concerned to exercise maximum restraint and avoid an escalation,” he added.

Also on Wednesday, the Arab League regional grouping’s Council condemned the “barbaric Israeli raids on the Gaza Strip, which targeted civilians, children, and women in residential neighborhoods while they were sleeping safely in their homes.”

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