Israel’s military said air strikes on Gaza could last a week, as cross-border fire reverberated for a second day in the worst escalation since last year’s war. At least 24 Palestinians have been killed, including six children, in Gaza. (AA) Israeli air strikes have flattened homes in Gaza, raising fears of an escalation that has killed at least 24 Palestinians, including six children, and injured over 200 others in the besieged area.
The Israeli army has said its military offensive in Gaza could last a week.
Army spokesperson Ran Kochav said on Saturday that the military is preparing for week-long operations in the Palestinian territory.
The Israeli army launched air strikes in Gaza on Friday in a pre-emptive attack to allegedly deter possible retaliation from Palestinian armed group Islamic Jihad after Israeli forces arrested two of the group's senior members in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli air strikes have been concentrated across heavily populated residential areas in Gaza.
The Islamic Jihad group said Friday that its senior leader Tayseer al Jabari was among those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza. The group launched rockets in retaliation late Friday.
According to the Israeli army, more than 160 rockets were fired by Islamic Jihad group from Gaza into Israel, with 60 of them intercepted.
The spokesman told Israeli Channel 12 that the Israeli response in Gaza is meant «not to drag the Hamas group into the ongoing conflict.»
READ MORE: Gaza’s sole power plant shuts down as Israeli air strikes continue
Israeli attacks come amid rising tensions across Palestinian territories since Monday when Israeli forces detained Bassam al Saadi, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad, in raid in occupied West Bank city of Jenin. Our colleague has more pic.twitter.com/Mk0hJGl6NE
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) August 6, 2022 'Devastating consequences'
United Nations Special Envoy Tor Wennesland has warned against the «devastating consequences» of the ongoing Israeli offensive on the Palestinians in Gaza.
The UN envoy described the escalation as «very dangerous» and called on «all sides to avoid further escalation.»
«The responsibility is with the parties to avoid this [escalation] from happening,» he added.
Egypt’s Al Azhar, the highest seat of learning in the Sunni Muslim world, has condemned the Israeli air strikes on Gaza, calling on Arabs and Muslims «to unite to support the Palestinians and their just cause as well as their legitimate struggle.»
A statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Cairo was «conducting intensive communications» to «contain the situation in Gaza» and «preserve lives and property.»
Türkiye, Pakistan, Qatar, Iran and the EU were also among countries to condemn the ongoing violence.
READ MORE: Condemnations pour in after Israel launches deadly strikes on besieged Gaza
Source: TRTWorld and agencies
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