GAZA, Aug 6 (Reuters) – The Israeli army announced on Saturday the arrest of 19 members of Islamic Jihad, one of the main Palestinian armed groups, in raids carried out overnight in the West Bank, the day after strikes carried out on the Gaza Strip.
The weapon says it targeted weapons manufacturing sites and rocket launch pads.
Israeli forces launched deadly strikes on Gaza on Friday, which killed 11 people, including one of the leaders of Islamic Jihad, as well as a five-year-old child.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, at least 80 people were also injured in the strikes.
Islamic Jihad retaliated by firing at least 160 rockets into Israel. The rockets were mostly intercepted and a few people were slightly injured as they made their way to shelters.
These new clashes raise fears of an escalation of violence if Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, joins the fighting.
The Israeli army said on Friday that Defense Minister Benny Gantz had approved the mobilization of 25,000 reservists after the strikes.
Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar are trying to mediate to end the violence “but no progress has yet been made”, according to a Palestinian official.
Islamic Jihad has not declared an immediate ceasefire.
“It’s time for resistance, not a truce,” said an official from the Palestinian group Reuters.
The Gaza Strip, where some 2.3 million people live on 365 km2, has been the scene of five conflicts between Israel and Palestinian armed groups since 2009. (Reportage Nidal al-Mughrabi, French version Matthieu Protard)