Palestinian medical sources told Al Jazeera that several injured people arrived at the hospital as a result of the raid.
gaza city – Israel attacked Gaza with warplanes on Friday, killing at least two people, including a senior commander of the Islamic Jihad group.
Taysir al-Jabari, commander of the Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s military wing, was killed in an airstrike on an apartment in the Palestine Tower in central Gaza City, the group said.
The friction follows days of tensions with the Palestinians following the arrest of a senior Palestinian leader in the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian medical sources told Al Jazeera that 19 people were injured on arrival at the hospital as a result of the Israeli raids. Smoke billowed from the seventh floor of a high-rise building in Gaza City.
“We just had lunch on Friday and my children were playing. Suddenly, a huge explosion hit the tower we live in. We escaped. The sound was massive. We were very shocked as the place is full of civilians. I saw a lot of casualties that were evacuated,” a resident told Al Jazeera with blood covering his clothes.
It was not immediately clear what Israel was aiming for or how much the situation would escalate. Multiple explosions were heard and seen throughout Gaza. Israeli reconnaissance drones could be heard flying over the besieged territory.
“The IDF [Israel Defense Force] is currently on strike in the Gaza Strip. A special situation has been declared on the Israeli home front,” the Israeli military said in a statement. He said more details would follow.
Israel closed roads around Gaza earlier this week and sent reinforcements to the border as it prepared for a response after the arrest of a senior member of the Islamic Jihad group in the occupied West Bank on Monday.
Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said in a statement that he would respond to the “escalation” on Friday.
“The Israeli enemy is the one who started the escalation against the resistance in Gaza, and a new crime was committed, and he bears all the responsibility,” Barhoum said.
“The resistance will defend our people in the Gaza Strip with everything they have and will continue to fight back.”
Ahmed Mudalal, an Islamic Jihad official in Gaza, said the group had made demands of Israel through Egyptian mediators, including the release of the detained leader and another prisoner, an end to raids in the West Bank and the lifting of the blockade on Israel. Loop. He said they have not yet received a response.
Israel and Hamas, which rules Gaza, have fought four wars and engaged in several minor skirmishes in the past 15 years.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited communities near Gaza on Friday and said authorities were preparing “actions that will remove the threat from this region,” without elaborating.
“We will operate with internal resilience and external strength to restore routine life in southern Israel,” he said. “We do not seek conflict, but we will not hesitate to defend our citizens, if necessary.”
Israel and Egypt have maintained a tight blockade on Gaza for 14 years, and critics say the policy amounts to collective punishment of the region’s two million Palestinian residents.