Israel bombs residential buildings in Gaza in second day of airstrikes

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Smoke and fires rise following Israeli airstrikes in southern Gaza on Saturday. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License picture

August 6 (UPI) — Israeli jets pounded the Gaza Strip again on Saturday, flattening several residential buildings and killing more Palestinians in its second day of airstrikes.

Preliminary reports estimate that 15 people were killed, including a 5-year-old girl, and 125 other Palestinians injured. Israel reported no deaths and two wounded soldiers, as well as three civilians “slightly injured” by debris.

In a preemptive strike, Israel demolished a residential building in Gaza with a deadly airstrike on Friday, saying it had information of a possible attack by pro-liberation forces.

“Warned us? They warned us with rockets and we fled without taking anything,” said Huda Shamallakh, who lived in the building. AlJazeera.

The Israeli military said its attacks targeted weapons storage facilities located “in the residences of terrorists from the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip”, according to the statement. New York Times reported.

In response, rockets fired from Gaza injured a civilian and two soldiers.

Tensions had been simmering since Monday when Israel arrested Bassem Saadi, who heads Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Israeli officials said they had “concrete threats” of a possible attack by the group when they bombed the residential building believed to be the home of an Islamic Jihad commander on Friday, The Times of Israel reported.

“Israel is not interested in a wider conflict in Gaza, but it will not shy away from it either,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a televised address on Friday.

Officials say more than 200 rockets were fired at southern and central Israel, the Jerusalem Post reported.

One person was “slightly” injured on Friday. Two others were “slightly injured by debris,” the Post reported.

It is the bloodiest escalation in the conflict over Israel’s siege of Palestinian territory in more than a year, since the brutal 11 day war which killed 230 Palestinians and 12 Israelis in May 2021.

Lynn Hastings, the UN humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territory, called for a ceasefire to “avoid further civilian deaths and injuries”.

“The fuel for the Gaza power plant must run out today; the electricity has already been cut off,” Hastings said in a statement. “The continued functioning of basic service facilities such as hospitals, schools, warehouses and designated shelters for internally displaced people is critical and now under threat.”

The UN official described the humanitarian situation in Gaza as “already dire and can only get worse with this recent escalation”.

“The movement and access of humanitarian personnel, for critical medical cases and for essential goods, including food and fuel in Gaza, must not be impeded so that humanitarian needs can be met,” Hastings added. .

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