Israel launches strikes on Gaza, killing eight including Islamic Jihad leader
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Israel launches strikes on Gaza, killing eight including Islamic Jihad leader

The IDF said it was a pre-emptive strike following days of rising tensions in the region

A damaged building where Tayseer al-Jaabari, a senior commander of Islamic Jihad militant, was killed during Israeli strikes in Gaza City on August 5 (Photo: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
A damaged building where Tayseer al-Jaabari, a senior commander of Islamic Jihad militant, was killed during Israeli strikes in Gaza City on August 5 (Photo: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Israel launched a series of air raids on targets in the Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon that it said were linked Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The IDF said a senior PIJ commander was killed in what it said was a “pre-emptive” strike following days of rising tensions in the region.

Officials in Gaza said at least nine people were killed, including a five-year-old child, and 44 other people were wounded.

The Israeli military said a “special situation has been declared on the Israeli home front”, adding that reservists for the region near Gaza were being called up.

There were indications that air strikes would continue later on Friday.

Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid said: “The goal of this operation is the elimination of a concrete threat against the citizens of Israel and the civilians living adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

“The Israeli government will not allow terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip to set the agenda in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and threaten the citizens of the State of Israel.

“Anyone who tries to harm Israel should know: we will find you.”

In an interview on Al Mayadeen television, a pro-Iranian Lebanese channel, Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala vowed retaliation for the strikes.

He said: “There are no red lines in this battle and Tel Aviv will fall under the rockets of resistance, as well as all Israeli cities.”

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