Middle East Conflict: Fighting continues in Gaza conflict – rocket fire

Middle East Conflict: Fighting continues in Gaza conflict – rocket fire

It is the biggest escalation in the Middle East conflict in months. Israel’s army has been bombing targets in the Gaza Strip for days. Militant Palestinians respond with rockets. Attempts at mediation falter.

Despite intensive efforts to reach a ceasefire, there is no end in sight to the recent fighting in the Middle East. Today, for the fifth day in a row, the Israeli Air Force attacked several targets of the Palestinian militant organization Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. Among them were command centers, hidden rocket launchers and launch sites, as the military announced.

Militant Palestinians, for their part, fired numerous rockets at Israel. According to the army, a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip was killed in an attack on the Israeli side. He therefore had a permit to work in Israel. Another Gaza resident was seriously injured.

Ceasefire talks falter

Attempts to mediate by Egypt have been unsuccessful. As both sides continued to escalate the situation, talks are not progressing, Egyptian security sources said on Saturday. Islamic Jihad said it would continue rocket fire in the face of Israel’s ongoing attacks. The organization was prepared “for a month-long confrontation”.

Israeli security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi said on Saturday, according to media reports, that Israel is currently focused on fighting jihad and less on a ceasefire. Nevertheless, he praised Egypt’s efforts and assured Israel that it was also in Israel’s interest to end the violence soon. Rest will be answered with rest. However, Israel would not respond to the jihad’s request to stop targeted killings.

Israel has been conducting a large-scale military offensive against Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip since Tuesday. According to the army, more than 370 positions have been destroyed so far and six high-ranking members have been specifically killed.

The jihad is the second most powerful military force in the Gaza Strip after Hamas and aims to destroy Israel. According to the army, the militant Palestinians fired more than 1,200 rockets and mortar shells towards Israel in the past few days, 970 of which crossed the border.

Rising casualties

33 people, including six children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the start of the Israeli military offensive. More than 140 were injured. According to the Israeli army, four civilians were killed by misguided jihadi rockets. This could not initially be verified independently. An 80-year-old died in Israel when a rocket hit her on Thursday.

No everyday life in Gaza and in the border area

The streets of the Gaza Strip were mostly deserted on Saturday. Public facilities remained closed. Bakeries, pharmacies and supermarkets provided the population with the essentials.

The Energy Authority in the Gaza Strip warned that the only power plant in the strip could shut down on Monday due to a lack of fuel. The Israeli authorities closed the border crossings to Gaza on Tuesday. Fuel deliveries have not been possible since then.

More than two million people live in the Gaza Strip in very poor conditions. Hamas violently seized power in the Palestinian Territory in 2007. Israel then tightened a blockade of the coastal area, which is supported by Egypt.

In Israel, residents in the border area were further instructed to stay near shelters. Several events have also been canceled due to the fighting, including the main weekly rally against the government’s controversial judicial reform.

It is the first Saturday in around four months without a mass demonstration. With the judicial reform, the government wants to curtail the influence of the Supreme Court and expand its own position of power. In addition, a concert by the Backstreet Boys near Tel Aviv that was planned for Saturday was canceled.

Source: Stern

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