new Israeli strikes and rocket fire despite mediation efforts, 31 dead in Gaza in three days

If Egypt is trying to impose itself as an active mediator in this conflict, rockets were again fired on Friday.

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Smoke rises from buildings in Gaza City on May 12, 2023, during an Israeli airstrike.  (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP)

For three days, the outbreak of violence between Israel and armed groups in Gaza has left 32 dead. The adversaries exchanged missile and rocket fire again on Friday May 12, despite mediation efforts to end the escalation. Egypt, a traditional mediator between the belligerents, is working to obtain a ceasefire, at a time when international calls are increasing to put an end to the resurgence of the conflict, the most serious since August 2022.

The violence began on Tuesday with Israeli strikes targeting Islamic Jihad, a classified Palestinian group “terrorist organization” by Israel, the European Union and the United States. Mohammed al-Hindi, head of the Islamic Jihad’s political department who arrived in Cairo on Thursday, said he hoped talks for a truce “end today. “We hope to achieve an honorable agreement that reflects the interests of our people and the resistance”did he declare.

Five Islamic Jihad commanders killed

But after a relative pause in the night, rockets were fired again on Friday morning at Israeli soil, according to witnesses in the southern Gaza Strip and Palestinian security sources. The army, for its part, assured that it was again targeting sites belonging to the Islamic Jihad, after having targeted several military installations and rocket launching sites during the night.

The Health Ministry has reported 31 dead in Gaza, including children, and more than 90 injured, since Tuesday. Among the dead are five Islamic Jihad military commanders targeted by Israel, as well as fighters from that movement and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), another armed group. In Israel, a person was killed Thursday in Rehovot, south of Tel Aviv, by a rocket that struck an inhabited building, according to the police.

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