Israel says it is prepared for a “week of operations” in Gaza as fighting intensifies

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The Israeli military, which renewed its attacks on Gaza on Saturday, said it was preparing for a “week of operations” as the Islamic Jihad group continued to fire dozens of rockets from the enclave toward southern and central Israel.

The big picture: At least 15 Palestinians, including a 5-year-old girl and a senior member of Islamic Jihad, have been killed and more than 120 injured since Israel began attacking Gaza on Friday, the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said without distinguishing between civilian casualties and militant victims. .

  • The Israeli military said 13 Islamic Jihad members, including commander Tayseer al-Jabari, had been killed and more than 200 rockets had been fired from Gaza since Friday night.
  • IDF spokesman Ran Kochav said in a briefing with reporters on Saturday morning that Israel is not negotiating a ceasefire. He said the IDF is preparing for a week-long operation that could take longer if necessary.
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Send the news: The latest violence began on Friday after Israel launched airstrikes in Gaza amid mounting tensions over the arrest of an Islamic Jihad member earlier this week in the occupied West Bank.

  • Israeli officials said they had information indicating that Islamic Jihad was preparing to carry out attacks against Israel and that the attacks in Gaza were intended to “eliminate a concrete threat against Israeli civilians”.
  • Palestinian leaders, meanwhile, condemned the Israeli attacks and blamed Israel for the latest escalation. “The international community must urge Israel to end its aggression,” the Palestinian president’s office said.
  • Islamic Jihad vowed to retaliate, saying the group has “no red lines”.
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Situation: The latest round of violence comes after a year of relative calm in Gaza following a devastating 11-day war in May 2021.

  • While the economic situation in Gaza has improved somewhat since then, reconstruction has been minimal and the enclave – home to more than 2 million Palestinians – continues to suffer from high poverty rates.
  • Israel closed Gaza border crossings earlier this week, exacerbating fuel shortages. The only power plant in Gaza was shut down at noon local time on Saturday due to the shortages and said it would cut electricity significantly.
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What to watch: The violence threatens to escalate into a much larger conflict if Hamas, which controls Gaza, joins Islamic Jihad in the fray.

  • So far, Hamas has remained largely on the sidelines, making only statements stressing that Israel “will be held accountable and pay the price for its new crime. The military wings of the resistance are united and will respond with violence. “
  • Egyptian officials told TSWT they are in contact with all different parties to try to calm the situation, but emphasized it will take more time to reach a ceasefire.

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