Six members of one family were killed in an Israeli strike on the southern Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health said in the Palestinian enclave on Thursday.
These deaths bring to 32 the number of deaths in Israeli strikes targeting since Tuesday elements of Islamic Jihad, which in turn has fired more than 350 rockets at Israel, according to Israeli military data.
“Six citizens of the Abu Malhous family, including three children and two women, were killed in an Israeli strike on their family home in Deir al-Balah in the southern Gaza Strip,” the ministry of health said. the Gaza Strip, a landmark controlled by Islamists of the Hamas movement.
The Israeli army conducted a targeted operation on Tuesday morning against Baha Abu al-Ata, a commander of another group, Islamic Jihad, who had died with his wife.
In the aftermath of this strike, Islamic Jihad launched a barrage of rockets on Israel, which in turn increased the airstrikes against the positions of this armed Islamist group.
The Israeli army accuses the Islamic Jihad in particular of using human shields to protect itself from strikes, but this time it did not target Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls Gaza.
Hamas and Israel have waged three wars in the enclave since 2008. But this group, unlike Islamic Jihad, has approved a truce negotiated through the UN, Egypt, a border country of Gaza, and Qatar, the Gulf emirate, which has both relations with the Gaza groups and Israel.
In an attempt to curb this new spiral of violence, UN envoy for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, arrived in Cairo Wednesday to lead with the Egyptians – who enjoy a strong influence on Gaza and official relations with Israel – a mediation for “urgent de-escalation”.
“Egypt is calling on Palestinian factions and Islamic Jihad for an immediate ceasefire …” a senior Egyptian official told AFP on Thursday.