IDF kills top Islamic Jihad commander in Rafah amid wave of Gaza airstrikes, battles

IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip in an image published on May 18, 2024 (Israel Defense Forces)
Published May 18, 2024

The Israeli Air Force struck more than 70 targets across the Gaza Strip in the past day, the military says, as ground forces operate in Rafah, Jabaliya, and the Netzarim Corridor.

According to the IDF, the targets included weapon depots, infrastructure, and buildings belonging to terror groups, as well as operatives.

One of the airstrikes in Rafah hit a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative, who the IDF says was head of logistics for the terror group in the city in southern Gaza. “As part of his role, he was responsible for preparing the enemy for the IDF maneuver in Rafah,” the military says.

In eastern Rafah, the military says troops of the Givati Brigade spotted and killed an RPG-wielding operative in a building near them. Givati troops raided several sites in the area, locating weapons, the IDF adds.

Also in eastern Rafah, the Egoz commando unit located a rocket launcher at a building used by terror groups, the IDF says.



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Rafah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – Heavy clashes and bombardment Saturday rocked Gaza’s southern city of Rafah as the Israeli military announced the first humanitarian aid had entered the besieged territory via a US-built pier.

A displaced Palestinian woman holds a child by the hand as she walks in front of tents set up inside the European hospital compound in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip © – / AFP
Published May 18, 2024

The military said its air forces “struck over 70 targets” across the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours while ground troops “continue precise operations” in eastern Rafah.

More than 10 days into what the Israeli military called a “limited” operation in Rafah that sparked an exodus of Palestinians sheltering there, fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants has also flared again in Gaza’s north.

The Kuwaiti hospital said an overnight Israeli strike killed two people in a displacement camp in Rafah, with witnesses reporting heavy gunfire and shelling in the city’s southeast and jets bombarding its eastern areas.

The army said its forces “conducted targeted raids” in Rafah and found weapons and explosives.

AFP correspondents, witnesses and medics said there were intense battles overnight in the northern Jabalia refugee camp, after the Israeli army reported on Friday “perhaps the fiercest” violence in the town in more than seven months of war.

Israeli forces “eliminated terrorists in a number of battles” in the Jabalia area and parts of central Gaza, the army said.





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