Israel says operation in Gaza will last over a week as second day begins


The Israeli army announced on Saturday that its military operations in the Gaza Strip are expected to last more than a week.

An Israeli military spokesman, Ran Kochav, said the army is preparing for a week-long operation in the Palestinian territory.

At least 11 Palestinians have been killed, including a 5-year-old girl, and 80 others injured in Israeli airstrikes across Gaza since Friday.

Kochav claimed that the Israeli army is currently targeting Islamic Jihad rocket-launching groups in Gaza, adding that they find it difficult to understand decision-making within the Palestinian movement because it apparently lacks organization and of command.

In response to the Israeli airstrikes, more than 160 rockets were fired by the Islamic Jihad movement from Gaza into Israel, of which 60 were intercepted, according to the Israeli army.

The spokesperson told Israel’s Channel 12 that their response in Gaza was “not aimed at dragging the Hamas group into the ongoing conflict.”

Tensions escalated across Palestine on Monday when Israeli forces arrested Bassam al-Saadi, a senior Islamic Jihad operative, in a raid in the West Bank city of Jenin.

Israeli airstrikes killed 11 Palestinians, including at least four other Islamic Jihad militants and a child, and injured at least 80 people, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Islamic Jihad did not provide specific details on the number of its operatives killed.

Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar are trying to end the violence “but no breakthrough yet”, according to a Palestinian official familiar with the matter.

The movement signaled no immediate ceasefire. “Now is the time for resistance, not a truce,” an Islamic Jihad official told Reuters.

The Israeli military has tightened restrictions on the already beleaguered Gaza Strip, including closing border crossings with Palestine, amid fears of a retaliatory response from Islamic Jihad to the arrest.

The Palestinian group said on Friday that senior leader Tayseer al-Jabari was among those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.

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