GAZA CITY, Palestine
The Israeli army carried out at least 30 airstrikes and artillery attacks Tuesday on several areas of the Gaza Strip, according to the government’s media office in the Strip.
“More than 20 Israeli airstrikes and 10 artillery shelling have been marked in different parts of the enclave since early Tuesday,” it said in a statement.
Targets included agricultural lands, residential buildings and a number of sites of Palestinian factions.
The government said Israel announced the closure of the Beit Hanoun crossing that is intended for individuals, and the Kerem Shalom crossing, for goods, and prevented fishermen from sailing.
In a related development, Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced a special state of emergency for 48 hours in areas within an 80 kilometers (650 miles) range surrounding Gaza.
The Israeli army said late Tuesday 190 rockets have been launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel.
It claimed its Iron Dome missile-defense batteries intercepted more than 90% of the rockets while more than half of the rockets that went through the iron dome fell in open areas.
Notably, an Israeli home was hit by a rocket in Sderot in southern Israel. No casualties were reported, according to media outlets.
The situation escalated in Gaza early Tuesday after an Israeli airstrike killed Bahaa Abu al-Atta, the commander of the Islamic Jihad resistance group. His wife Asmaa Abu al-Atta was also killed
Israeli warplanes also launched airstrikes targeting Islamic Jihad member Akram al-Ajouri in Damascus, Syria.
Two people, including al-Ajouri’s son, were killed and 10 others injured, but the Islamic Jihad leader emerged unhurt.
In retaliation for al-Atta killing, the Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, launched dozens of rockets towards Israeli cities, to which Israel responded with airstrikes across the Gaza Strip.
*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat
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