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Israel-Gaza conflict: Palestinian death toll rises amid ceasefire talks

Israeli aircraft hit targets on the Gaza Strip on Sunday, driving upPalestinian death toll and militants repeatedly fired of rockets that reached deep into Israel despite reports that both sides were seeking a ceasefire.

Seven more deaths in Gaza as Egyptian officials work toward a deal, the Palestinian death toll since Israel's offensive began on Friday The death toll came to his 36. Among the dead were 11 children and her four women. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said more than 311 people had been injured since Friday.

READ MORE: Israel-Gaza Conflict: Militants engage in gunfight after deadly attack

Iran-backed Palestinian jihadist militant groups have responded by firing hundreds of rockets at Israel, risking the cross-border fighting escalating into full-blown war. will remain unless a ceasefire is reached. Israel says some of the dead were killed by rocket misfires.

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Gaza's ruling Hamas group, which fought her 11-day war with Israel in May 2021, is now He seemed to remain a bystander. It fears Israeli retaliation and undermining the economic deal with Israel. This includes Israeli work permits for thousands of Gazans, which strengthens its control.

If so, ceasefire efforts may bear fruit. Both Israeli and Palestinian militant groups gave initial approval to a ceasefire offer early on Sunday, but it was not clear when it would go into effect, according to Egyptian intelligence officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss ongoing talks.

Israel made no mention of ceasefire talks, but Islamic Jihad spokesman Tarek Selmi downplayed hopes of a deal, citing rising Palestinian death tolls.

"Until now there is no talk of a truce, no talk of a mediator. The talk is about the aggressive actions of the Zionist enemies," he said. "The battle continues."

Israeli diners scrambled for shelter as the rockets were launched

It followed Saturday with another attack on a second high-profile leader.

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His Khaled Mansour, the second commander of the Islamic Jihad, was in Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza late Saturday. He died in an airstrike on an apartment complex. , also killed two other militants and five civilians.

Mansur, commander of the Islamic Jihad in southern Gaza, was in a group member's apartment when the missile struck, causing a three-story building to collapse and causing extensive damage to nearby homes. rice field.

"Suddenly, without warning, the house next door was bombed, and in an instant everything was black and covered with smoke," he said next to the targeted building. Resident Wissam Jooda said.

Another neighbor, his Ahmed al-Qaissi, said his wife and son were among him among the wounded, with shrapnel injuries. Al-Qaesi agreed to demolish part of his home to make way for rescue workers.

Israeli forces said they suspected they had attacked an "Islamic Jihad rocket launch pad" as Mansur's funeral began in the Gaza Strip on Sunday afternoon. Smoke was visible from the strike as Gaza rattled and exploded. Israeli airstrikes and rocket attacks continued for hours, with sirens blaring across central Israel. Sirens blared as far north as Tel Aviv on Sunday night as the call to prayer rang out in Gaza at sunset.

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Israel says some of the deaths during this round were part of his one case at the Jebaliya refugee camp. It states that the incident was caused by an erroneous rocket fire. In northern Gaza, six Palestinians were killed on Saturday. On Sunday, two men were killed when a projectile hit a house in the same area of ​​Jebaliyah. The Palestinians held Israel responsible, but Israel said it was investigating whether the area had been hit by a false rocket.

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The Israeli Defense Ministry said mortars fired from Gaza hit the Erez border crossing into Israel and were used by thousands of Gazans in a single day. Mortars damaged the roof and shrapnel hit the entrance to the hall, the ministry said. The crossing was closed during the fighting.

Rafah's offensive was the deadliest yet in the current round of fighting launched by Israel on Friday by targeting and killing an Islamic Jihad commander in northern Gaza.

Israel said it took action against militant groups because of specific threats of imminent attacks, but did not give details. Caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid, an experienced diplomat but with no experience overseeing war, launched an offensive three months before the general election and campaigned to keep his job. did

In a statement on Sunday, Rapid said its forces would continue to strike targets in Gaza "in a pinpoint and responsible manner to minimize harm to non-combatants." Rapid said the strike that killed Mansur was an "extraordinary achievement".

"The operation will continue as long as necessary," Rapid said.

READ MORE: Here's what you need to know about the current Israeli-Gaza conflict

Israel estimates the death toll from airstrikes at about 15 militants.

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Islamic Jihad has fewer fighters and supporters than Hamas, and little is known about its arsenal. Both groups seek the destruction of Israel, but have different priorities and Hamas is constrained by its demands for governance.

The Israeli military said militants in Gaza had fired about 580 rockets into Israel. The military said its air defense systems intercepted many of them, two of his planes being shot down and fired towards Jerusalem. Islamic Jihad has fewer fighters and followers than Hamas.

Air raid sirens sounded in the Jerusalem area for the first time since last year's Israeli-Hamas war.

Jerusalem is usually the flashpoint of cross-border fighting between Israel and Gaza. On Sunday, hundreds of Jews, including seditious ultranationalist lawmaker Itamar Ben Gubir, marched to the sensitive holy site of Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as a noble sanctuary. I visited Police said the visit ended successfully under close police protection.

Such demonstrative visits by Israeli hardliners seeking to underscore Israel's sovereignty claims over disputed Jerusalem have sparked violence in the past. The Holy Land sits on the fault line of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is central to the conflicting narratives of Palestinian and Israeli Jews.

Israeli security forces said he had detained 19 people suspected of belonging to Islamic Jihad during overnight raids in Palestinian cities and towns in the West Bank.

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Fighting killed a senior Islamic Jihad commander Friday in a series of strikes Israel said were meant to prevent an imminent attack started from.

By Sunday, Hamas still appeared to be out of action. Groups have strong incentives to avoid another war. Last year's Israeli-Hamas war, one of his four major conflicts over the past 15 years, and several smaller ones, have taken a toll on her 2.3 million Palestinians in impoverished areas. caused damage.

Since the last war, Israel and Hamas have slightly eased the border blockades imposed by Israel and Egypt when Hamas seized territories 15 years ago, offering tranquility in exchange for work permits. I have reached a tacit understanding that I will. Israel has issued her 12,000 work permits to the Gaza worker, and he expects to give another 2,000 permits.

The lone power plant in Gaza shut down at midday on Saturday due to a fuel shortage. Israel has continued to close crossings to Gaza since Tuesday. New disruptions have left Gazans with only four hours of electricity in his day, increasing reliance on private generators and jeopardizing the region's chronic power crisis amid peak summer heat. It has turned into.

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Goldenberg reported from Tel Aviv, Israel.

© 2022 The Canadian Press