Israeli airstrikes on Gaza kill senior Palestinian militant group official


TEL AVIV — Israel carried out several airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Friday, and the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad said one of the attacks killed a senior faction official.

The airstrikes culminated nearly a week of rising tensions following the arrest of another senior militant from the same group in the West Bank.

A senior Israeli defense official said the attacks were aimed at Islamic Jihad and that several of the targets were hit, including a building in Gaza and at least four militants carrying anti-tank missiles. At least seven people, including a 5-year-old girl, were killed and around 40 civilians were injured, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

Islamic Jihad said a commander in its military wing, identified as Taysir al-Jabari, had been killed. .

“The enemy has started a war targeting our people and we must all defend ourselves and our people,” an Islamic Jihad statement said.

The Israeli defense official said several people were killed in the airstrikes and confirmed that one of the targets was Mr al-Jabari.

Plumes of smoke rose above the Gaza skyline and on the ground, crowds of rescuers and others gathered in the street near the site where the Islamic Jihad commander had been killed.

Israel closed crossings into the Gaza Strip this week ahead of a retaliatory attack following the arrest on Monday of another senior Islamic Jihad operative in the West Bank. Gaza has been under a strict blockade since 2007.

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