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Clashes between IDF and Palestinians in the Jenin area, Palestinian officials say
Palestinian officials reported clashes between IDF forces and Palestinians in two villages near Jenin in the northern West Bank. According to the reports, Israeli forces arrived in the area to arrest seniors members of Islamic Jihad.

Top Israeli army official: ‘All top Islamic Jihad security officials in Gaza have been assassinated’

Maj. Gen. Oded Basyuk, head of Operations Directorate in the Israel Defense Forces, told the press that “all top Islamic Jihad security officials in the [Gaza] Strip have been assassinated” on Saturday.

Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system intercepts a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip, above the southern Israeli city of Sderot on Saturday. Jack Guez/AFP

Earlier in the evening, Israel reportedly killed Khalid Mansour, the head of the Islamic Jihad’s military wing in the southern Strip. Islamic Jihad later confirmed his death, saying his body was found under the rubble at the site of the strike.

On Friday, Israel assassinated Islamic Jihad official Tayseer al-Jabari, head of the organization’s military wing in the northern Gaza Strip.

PM Lapid: Israel will act without hesitation to ensure peace of its residents

Prime Minister Yair Lapid said at a security cabinet meeting on Saturday evening that “Israel will continue to act without hesitation to ensure the peace of its residents.”

Palestinian Health Ministry says Gaza death toll stands at 24, including 6 children

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Saturday that 24 people have been killed in Gaza since the operation Breaking Dawn started on Friday.

Among the dead are six children aged five to ten. One girl, aged five, has been identified as Alaa Abdullah Riyad Qaddoum.

The ministry also said that 203 people have been injured so far.

Israel reportedly assassinates another senior Islamic Jihad official in Gaza
An Israel Defense Forces official says the army assassinated a senior military official from Islamic Jihad in Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday evening.

At least 40 others were injured in the attack, according to Palestinian reports.

The official in question, Khalid Mansour, is the head of the Islamic Jihad’s military wing in the southern Strip.

On Friday, Israel assassinated Islamic Jihad official Tayseer al-Jabari, head of the organization’s military wing in the northern Gaza Strip.

Islamic Jihad has yet to respond to the reports.

At least five Palestinians, including kids, reported killed in incident in refugee camp
At least five Palestinians have been killed, including four children, and several more injured by a strike near a mosque in the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza, according to local reports.

The dead were aged five, nine, ten and 11 and 19, with Palestinian media laying the blame with Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces said that it did not carry out any attacks on Jabalya refugee camps, and said that the deaths were caused by an errant Islamic Jihad rocket.

“We have videos that prove beyond doubt that this is not an Israeli attack,” the head of Israel’s public diplomacy said, though they will not imminently publish the evidence.

The total number of Palestinians killed since the conflict between the IDF and Islamic Jihad erupted on Friday stands at 24.

350 rockets launched from Gaza into Israel so far, 162 of them were intercepted

About 350 rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel since the beginning of its military operation on Friday and until 6.30 P.M. on Saturday, according to IDF data.

Of these, 227 rockets actually crossed the border into Israel, while 94 of them landed within the Gaza Strip. 162 of the rockets were intercepted by the IDF. It was also reported that 29 rockets landed in the sea.

U.S. ‘fully supports’ Israel amid Gaza escalation, but urges calm from both sides

The Biden administration has expressed full-throated support of Israel amid the escalating conflict with Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, while calling on all sides to avoid further violence.

“We’re actively engaged with Israeli, Palestinian and regional partners to work toward achieving calm in the wake of these strikes, and we certainly urge all sides to avoid further escalation,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said.

Far-right lawmaker Ben-Gvir to go up to Temple Mount on Sunday

Israel Police will permit Jews to ascend the Temple Mount on the fast day of Tisha B’Av on Sunday, including far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir.

The police held a situational assessment on Saturday evening amid Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip, with fears that a conflagration in Jerusalem could cause the conflict to spiral.

Lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir photographed at the Western Wall in Jerusalem with the Temple Mount in the background. Ohad Zwigenberg

Egypt pushing for Israeli ceasefire before Sunday, official says

A senior Egyptian official with knowledge of the ceasefire talks between Israel and Islamic Jihad said he hopes Israel will agree to a ceasefire “as soon as possible,” amid fears of escalation as scores of Jews are set to ascend the Temple Mount on Sunday.

According to the source, Egypt is exerting pressure on Israel in hopes that a ceasefire will be declared “tonight or early in the morning,” in order to ensure tension levels are low as religious Jews make their way to the Temple Mount.

“If there are more deaths in the Gaza Strip [tonight], and tomorrow morning events unfold in the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, it will be difficult to control the situation and prevent a deterioration into a larger conflict.” the source said, referring to the events of Tisha B’Av — a holiday in which religious Jews mourn the destruction of the two ancient temples, and which has become politically-charged in recent years.

The official also stressed that a ceasefire must be agreed upon in as soon as possible because Hamas’ decision to stay out of the conflict is not guaranteed to last much longer. “Currently, we are managing to stop Hamas from intervening, and this is a window of opportunity,” the official said. “Every hour that passes only increases the pressure, and the fear of losing control.”

According to the source, Egypt is directing its diplomatic efforts on pressuring Israel to agree to a ceasefire first, and only then will it call for the Islamic Jihad to follow suit. “After two or three days of quiet,” the Egyptian plan for the ceasefire stipulates, “will we be ready to move on and discuss the easing of restrictions [on Gaza] and other humanitarian concerns.”

The Egyptian mediators in the talks even sent messages to Israel that they expect their proposal to be brought up for discussion in the Israeli cabinet this evening: “We are in a difficult situation but there is still a possibility to prevent the expansion of the cycle of violence,” adding that “every death in Gaza will only increase the pressure on Hamas [to join the fight], in addition to the humanitarian situation which is getting worse. We hope that Israel will be attentive and verify our proposal tonight.”

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sissi said on Saturday that Egypt is “making great efforts with all parties involved to restore calm and peace to the Gaza Strip,” and that talks are being held “around the clock”. Cairo, Al-Sissi said, has “an interest in preventing the escalation and deterioration of the situation.”

100 people demonstrate against Gaza fighting in Tel Aviv

Around 100 people gathered on Saturday in two locations in Tel Aviv to protest Israel’s strikes on the Gaza Strip as part of the evolving military operation against Islamic Jihad.

Demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and chanted “free Gaza.” Several demonstrations were also held on Saturday in the country’s north and in the center of Jerusalem.

Russia blames Israel for round of Gaza violence, calls for de-escalation

Russia’s Foreign Ministry censured Israel for instigating the flare-up in the Gaza Strip in its statement on the recent escalation between Israel and Islamic Jihad.

Spokeswoman of Russia’s Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that “Russia is very concerned about the new outbreak of armed violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” adding that Russia “observes with deep concern these developments, which may result in the renewal of large-scale fighting and the continued deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Gaza.”

In the statement, Zakharova places the blame for the uptick in violence on Israel: “What provoked the current escalation was the bombings by the Israeli Air Force on August 5, to which the Palestinian groups responded with indiscriminate shelling into Israeli territory.”

“We call on all parties involved to exercise maximum restraint, to prevent an escalation of the fighting and to immediately return to a stable ceasefire,” the message reads.

The statement concludes with Russia reaffirming its support for the two-state solution, but unlike their statements on past escalations, it omits any mention of Israel’s security: “We emphasize once again that putting an end to the circle of violence is only possible within the framework of negotiations, the result of which should be the realization of the legal national rights of the Palestinian people the establishment of an independent [Palestinian] state within the 1967 borders.”

Israel’s emergency service reports 21 injuries since start of Gaza operation

Magen David Adom emergency service reported on Saturday that 21 people have been evacuated to hospital since Israel kicked off its military campaign on the Gaza Strip.

Two people were lightly injured from shrapnel, 13 people sustained injuries while running for shelter from rockets and six people experienced panic attacks, according to the emergency service.

Turkey condemns ‘unacceptable’ Israeli airstrikes
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement “strongly condemning” that Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, stating it is “unacceptable that civilians, including children, have lost their lives during the attacks.”

“We are deeply concerned by the escalating tensions in the region following the strikes. We stress the necessity for these incidents to end immediately,” the ministry added.

Islamic Jihad send volley of rockets toward central Israel, sirens sound in Tel Aviv

A barrage of rockets was fired by Islamic Jihad toward central Israel on Saturday evening, with sirens sounding in Tel Aviv and locals reporting loud hearing explosions overhead.

Sirens have been blaring throughout the day along the Gaza border, the Judean Foothills, and in the coastal cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod.

No injuries have been reported so far from this round of missiles, though material damage to property and vehicles was reported in Ashkelon.

At least 350 rockets have been launched from the Gaza Strip since Friday, not including the most recent volley of rockets, after Israel launched a military operation against Islamic Jihad and began shelling the Palestinian enclave.

Gantz charges Islamic Jihad is ‘disconnected from its own people’

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Saturday that the Israeli army has assassinated “many terrorists who planned to launch rockets and mortars into Israel” since its military operation on Gaza was launched.

Gantz, who visited the Iron Dome battery outside the Gaza Strip, added that “We have hit dozens of Islamic Jihad military installations that are used for the production and launch of rockets.” Gantz also said that “the leadership of the Islamic Jihad that sits abroad in restaurants and hotels in Tehran, Syria and Lebanon, is disconnected from its own people and seriously harms the lives and livelihoods of the residents of Gaza — they will also pay the price.”

IDF says jets struck Islamic Jihad military facilities

Israel’s Air Force attacked three mortar shell launchers belonging to the Islamic Jihad, the Israel Defense Forces’ spokesman said on Saturday.

Security sources: No plan to restrict Jewish access to Temple Mount amid Gaza tensions

Israel has no intentions to prevent Jewish access to the Temple Mount in light of the escalation with the Gaza Strip on Sunday for the fast day of Tisha B’Av, security officials said.

The Temple Mount, also known as the Al-Aqsa compound, is sacred to both Jews and Muslims, and incidents at the holy site have intensified broader conflagrations between Israel and the Palestinians in the past.

The fragile religious status-quo permits Jewish access to the site, but only allows Muslims to pray there. In recent years, Jewish extremists have prayed at the compound in greater numbers.

The security sources, however, conceded that the situation could change by Sunday.

Scores protest Gaza military operation in northern Israel

Dozens of people are taking part in demonstrations in Haifa, as well as in Umm al-Fahm and the Wadi Ara area in the north against Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip.

In Haifa, the protest numbered around 40 people, including members of the Knesset for the majority-Arab Joint List.

The demonstrators waved Palestinian flags, signs protesting the operation and pictures of some of the victims killed in Friday’s attacks.

PM Lapid to meet Netanyahu on Sunday for security briefing regarding situation in Gaza

Prime Minister Yair Lapid will meet opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday for a security briefing on the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Lapid’s military secretary will be present in the meeting.

Published By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

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