Gaza death toll from Israeli attacks rises to 13

114 Palestinians injured in airstrikes.

Gaza death toll from Israeli attacks rises to 13

Thirteen Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip since Friday, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

A 5-year-old girl was among the victims, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told a press conference in Gaza City.

He added that 114 people were also injured in the Israeli onslaught.

“The Israeli occupation is focusing its attacks on residential areas, which causes casualties among civilians,” al-Qudra said.

The ministry said earlier Saturday that a Palestinian had been killed and another injured in an Israeli airstrike in Khan Younis south of Gaza City.

For his part, government spokesman Salama Maaruf said more than 650 housing units were damaged in the Israeli offensive.

“This crime is aggravating the already difficult humanitarian conditions in Gaza due to the 15-year Israeli blockade,” he told the press conference.

Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Friday citing “imminent threat of attack” by Islamic Jihad group.

The attacks came amid rising tensions across the Palestinian territories since Monday when Israeli forces detained Bassam al-Saadi, a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad group, in a raid in the West Bank city of Jenin.

The Israeli army has imposed restrictions on the Gaza Strip, including the closure of border crossings with the Palestinian territory, amid fears of a retaliatory response from the Islamic Jihad group to the arrest.

The Israeli army said Saturday that over 160 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, with 60 of them intercepted. The military warned that its airstrikes in Gaza may last for a week.

Hüseyin Demir