| 18 July 2024, Thursday |

Air strikes, rocket attacks push Israel, Gaza into second day of fighting

After an Israeli operation against the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization interrupted more than a year of relative peace along the border, Israel bombarded Gaza and Palestinians fired rockets at Israeli communities on Saturday.

In a surprise daylight air assault on a high-rise building in Gaza City on Friday, Israel killed one of the group’s senior commanders, prompting rocket salvos in reprisal.

Israel announced on Saturday that it had hit Islamic Jihad terrorists preparing to launch rockets and militant strongholds. Witnesses reported five more houses were bombed, throwing large clouds of smoke and debris into the air as explosions shook Gaza City.

At least 160 rockets were fired across the border by Palestinian terrorists, setting off air raid sirens and sending residents fleeing to bomb shelters as far as the central Israeli city of Modiin, located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The Islamic Jihad claimed to have targeted Israel’s principal international gateway, Ben Gurion Airport, however the rocket exploded near Modiin, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) away, and the Civil Aviation Authority reported that the airport was running normally with aircraft patterns altered.

According to the Israeli ambulance service, the majority of the missiles were intercepted, and there were no reports of significant fatalities.

Efforts by Egypt, the United Nations, and Qatar to cease the violence were ongoing. Further escalation would be primarily determined by whether Hamas, the Islamic terrorist group that governs Gaza, chose to join the war.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, the Israeli attacks killed 14 Palestinians, including at least four additional Islamic Jihad members and a child, and injured at least 110 others.

  • Reuters