GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel said early Friday it has completed a series of airstrikes on targets linked to the Islamic Jihad militant group in Gaza after overnight rocket fire that rattled a day-old truce.
The Palestinian territory’s Hamas rulers, who kept to the sidelines of this week’s fighting, cancelled the weekly protests they organize along the perimeter fence without explanation — apparently in an effort to preserve the calm.
Israel reiterated that it was willing to abide by the cease-fire if there are no additional rocket attacks. The army said in a statement that it struck a military compound, a rocket-manufacturing site and a militant headquarters in the town of Khan Younis overnight.
The airstrikes came after a barrage of rockets late Thursday. There were no immediate reports of casualties on either side. The situation was calm on Friday.
The unofficial cease-fire that began early Thursday ended a two-day escalation triggered by Israel’s targeted killing of an Islamic Jihad commander. The fighting killed 34 Palestinians, including 16 civilians. Palestinian militants fired more than 450 rockets toward Israel, paralyzing much of southern Israel without causing any deaths or serious injuries.
An Israeli airstrike overnight Thursday struck a home in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah, killing eight people, including two women and five children under the age of 13. The airstrike apparently targeted the home of an Islamic Jihad commander who was not there at the time. Neighbors said the airstrike killed his brother, who was not involved in militant activity.
The military said Friday that it struck “Islamic Jihad military infrastructure” in Deir al-Balah and did not intend to harm civilians.
Source: NewsNet | Israel Completes Air Strikes, Acknowledges Willingness to Preserve Truce