Israel launched on Friday airstrikes on militant targets after renewed rocket fire from Gaza, putting a day-old ceasefire under strain.
Earlier on Thursday, the ceasefire came into effect after two days of fighting between Israel and militants of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza after Israel on Tuesday killed Baha Abu al-Ata, one of the PIJ’s most senior commanders in the Gaza Strip, in an airstrike, the BBC reported.
Early on Friday, according to Palestinian media, the missiles hit sites belonging to the PIJ group that injured two people.
The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said in a statement that the aircraft struck a PIJ compound overnight used to construct missile components as well as the group’s headquarters in the town of Khan Younis.
According to the Al-Quds Brigades (PIJ’s military wing), Abu al-Ata, 42, was “one of the most prominent members of its military council and the commander of the northern part of the (Gaza Strip).”
The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip and is considered a rival of the PIJ, condemned Abu al-Ata’s killing, vowing it “will not pass without punishment”.
Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) ordered schools closed in southern and central parts of the country, including the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, as terror groups in the Gaza Strip launched dozens of rockets at cities and towns in retaliation for the assassination.
After the death of Abu al-Ata, more than 450 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel, and several waves of airstrikes carried out on Gaza in two days of violence before the ceasefire came into effect, the BBC reported.
The fighting killed 34 Palestinians and wounded 111, while 63 Israelis were injured.