Renewed fighting rocks Gaza but Egypt keeps up truce push

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Israel and Gaza traded heavy fire on Friday but Egyptian mediators launched a new bid to end days of fighting that has killed dozens, all but one of them Palestinian.

The violence has been met with international calls for de-escalation, with the European Union pushing for an “immediate comprehensive ceasefire”.

Israel announced it was “striking Islamic Jihad targets” in the densely populated Palestinian territory, while AFP journalists saw air strikes hit Gaza City.

Sirens warning of incoming fire meanwhile rang out in Israeli communities close to the border with the Gaza Strip, as well as in an Israeli settlement near Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank.

Violence broke out Tuesday when Israel killed three top members of the Islamic Jihad group, while subsequent strikes have killed at least three other senior figures.

A high-ranking commander, Iyad al-Hassani, was killed in a strike on a Gaza City apartment Friday, a spokesman for the group told AFP.

Hours earlier, Islamic Jihad said the latest rocket fire was a “response to the assassinations and the continued aggression against the Palestinian people”.

The launches, witnessed by AFP journalists, came after a rocket killed one civilian in the central Israeli city of Rehovot on Thursday night.

At least 33 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza’s health ministry, including militants but also children.

 

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