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Israel targets Islamic Jihad center in Rafah, commander killed

Palestinian medics evacuate the body of a man, killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza City, on August 5, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Twelve people, including a senior commander of the Islamic Jihad and a five-year-old child, have been killed in an airstrike by Israel on a center affiliated with the resistance movement in a residential area in the besieged Gaza Strip, only days after the regime arrested a senior figure of the group.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said well over 80 people were also injured in the attack in Rafah on Friday.

The resistance movement confirmed in a statement that one of its commanders, Tayseer al-Jabari, was killed in the strike.

Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad Ziyad al-Nakhalah said the Israeli enemy must expect a "non-stop" confrontation in the wake of the Friday aggression.

There will be no truce following this attack, the Islamic Jihad official said. All resistance groups must struggle under one flag in this fight, Nakhalah said.

Israeli adventures will not go unanswered, he said, adding that the Zionist enemy bears full responsibility for the airstrike.

All Israeli cities could be in the cross hairs of resistance fighters, he added.

"We will sacrifice our blood and our weapons and we will not hesitate for a moment to respond to this aggression."

Hamas: Israel will pay the price

The resistance movement Hamas said the Israeli enemy "committed a new crime" and must "pay its price."

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum underscored the unity of resistance groups in the battle against occupiers.

The resistance fighters will defend the Palestinian people with everything they have and will continue to fight until victory in all areas, he said.

Israeli minister for military affairs Benny Gantz has said the regime will call up some 25,000 reservists. Israel has also deployed reinforcements near Gaza.

Israeli forces recently arrested Bassam al-Saadi, a senior figure of the Islamic Jihad, in a raid in Jenin. Soon after the arrest, Israeli authorities announced the closure of crossings at the Israeli fence separating Gaza from the occupied territories.

Observers say Friday's airstrike will likely cause a broader military escalation.

The Israeli military has ordered an emergency in all cities and towns within 50 miles of the border with Gaza. The regime says resistance rockets will likely be launched against targets in the occupied territories.

Meanwhile, Nakhalah said the situation in Gaza was reminiscent of the days of Saif al-Quds Operation. He was referring to the last military confrontation between Palestinian resistance forces and the Israeli regime in 2021.

In May that year, frequent acts of violence against Palestinian worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war, during which the regime killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.

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