“The serious escalation of violence and the deterioration of the security situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and in Israel is deeply alarming. The European Union calls for a full and immediate amnesty,” said Josep Borrell Fontelles, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Earlier, Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, expressed “deep concerns” regarding the violence between Israel and the Islamic Jihad militant group, condemned the attacks resulting in civilian casualties and asked the Israeli Government to respect the norms of humanitarian law.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced on Thursday evening that the Israeli army’s attacks on the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip will continue.
At least one person was killed and many others were injured following rocket attacks that targeted towns in central and southern Israel on Thursday afternoon.
The Israeli army killed another Islamist leader in an air raid on Thursday afternoon in the Gaza Strip, but in response, a rocket fired by Islamist militants hit a residential block in the Israeli town of Rehovot, located in central Israel, at only ten kilometers south of Tel Aviv. One person was killed in the attack and ten others are hospitalized. Another person was injured after a rocket hit a building in the Sdot Negev area in southern Israel. These are the first casualties recorded in Israel following the new clashes with the Islamic Jihad group, which broke out on Tuesday. Three rockets hit the city of Sderot on Thursday evening, but no casualties were reported.
Ahmad Abu Daka, one of the leaders of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, was killed in an Israeli air raid carried out on Thursday afternoon in the Gaza Strip, said sources cited by the website Ynetnews.com and The Times of Israel. Earlier, on Thursday morning, Ali Ghali, the commander of the Islamic Jihad group’s missile division, was killed in an air raid.
Diplomatic efforts for a truce between Israel and Islamic Jihad are being blocked by Iran, which is pressuring the Palestinian militant group to continue attacks, according to Israeli officials. In addition, the Israeli Government suspended the truce negotiations on Thursday evening, after the Palestinian attacks resulted in casualties, according to the television station i24news.
The toll of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip is at least 27 dead, including at least 11 Islamist militants. Dozens of other people were injured.
The Islamist groups in the Gaza Strip launched approximately 600 rockets towards Israeli territory. Numerous houses in the Israeli cities of Sderot, Ashkelon and Rehovot, as well as in the rural settlements of Nir Am, Netivot and Sdot Negev suffered significant damage. Many rockets were intercepted near the cities of Tel Aviv and Beersheba. Many people were in a state of shock or were injured while rushing to the air raid shelters.
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