In a significant escalation of the ongoing conflict between Palestinian militants and Israel, Saraya al-Quds, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, has announced a series of intensive rocket barrages targeting several Israeli cities. These cities include Tel Aviv, Ashdod, and Ashkelon, in addition to other locations within what the group refers to as the 'Zionist depth'. This development typically comes as a response to heightened tensions or specific events in the region.
Rocket Fire and Its Implications
The announcement did not immediately detail the impact of the rocket fire on the targeted areas, including any casualties or damage. However, such attacks often provoke swift retaliation from the Israeli military, which adheres to a policy of responding to rocket attacks from Gaza with airstrikes or other military actions. This situation is likely to lead to escalated hostilities and further strain on the tense relations between Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza.
Israel's Retaliatory Measures
Israel's warplanes mounted a heavy assault on Gaza on Friday following the collapse of talks to extend a week-long truce with Hamas. The bombing, which sent wounded and dead Palestinians into hospitals and others onto the streets to seek safety, has sparked fears of an expansion of the war into areas Israel had previously marked as safe. Israel has revealed to several Arab states its intention to carve out a buffer zone on the Palestinian side of Gaza's border to prevent future attacks as part of proposals for the enclave post-war.
The Humanitarian Cost
Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip have resulted in at least 65 fatalities since the truce lapsed and fighting resumed on Friday morning. Local medical sources revealed to Xinhua that dozens of others sustained injuries of varying degrees due to Israeli raids targeting different areas of the Palestinian enclave. This renewed hostility also amplifies concerns for about 140 hostages still held captive by Hamas and other militants, following the liberation of over 100 during the truce.