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Violence erupts on the West Bank as Israel and Gaza exchange rocket fire for a second day

Violence erupts in West Bank as Israel and Gaza exchange rocket fire for second day in conflict’s worst escalation in over a year

  • At least 15 people were killed and 125 injured in bombings yesterday
  • Israel says it has arrested 19 members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad group in raids
  • Militants fired 200 rockets into Israel on Friday night, injuring 13 people
  • The Israeli army has warned that the latest conflict could last a week

Violence erupted for the second day in the West Bank as Israel and Gaza fired dozens of rockets in the worst escalation of the conflict in more than a year.

The bombing killed at least 15 people and injured 125, including a 5-year-old Palestinian girl and a senior commander of an Islamist militant group.

Israel said it had arrested 19 members of the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad in a series of raids after militants fired nearly 200 rockets Friday night.

Most had been intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system with no Israeli deaths, but 13 people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The Israeli military has warned that the latest conflict — codenamed Operation Breaking Dawn — could be “prolonged” and could last a week or more.

Rockets fired at Israel by Palestinian militants Friday night amid the worst conflict in the area in more than a year

Rockets fired at Israel by Palestinian militants Friday night amid the worst conflict in the area in more than a year

The violence is the worst flare-up between Israel and Gaza since May last year, when 256 people in Gaza and 14 people in Israel were killed over 11 days.

Israel said it launched its operation to remove “a concrete threat” against its citizens and deal with “terrorists and their sponsors.”

Palestinian Islamic Jihad said the bombing amounted to a declaration of war, adding that the group would “respond vigorously.”

The violence follows days of tension sparked by Monday’s arrest of Bassem al-Saadi, allegedly the commander of Islamic Jihad in the occupied West Bank.

At least 15 people have been killed in the violence, including a 5-year-old Palestinian girl.  Pictured is a house in Gaza City destroyed by an Israeli airstrike

At least 15 people have been killed in the violence, including a 5-year-old Palestinian girl. Pictured is a house in Gaza City destroyed by an Israeli airstrike

The group is one of the strongest in Gaza, responsible for dozens of attacks on Israel.

Hamas, the largest militant group with an ideology similar to Islamic Jihad, said “resistance groups” were united and indicated it could respond to Israeli airstrikes. If it does launch attacks, the situation could escalate.

A match between Juventus and Atletico Madrid in Tel Aviv was canceled “in light of the current security situation”.

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