Palestinian Islamic Jihad Commander, Al-Hasani Killed In Israeli Airstrike
By Our Correspondent
Israel has killed a sixth senior leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in an air strike in the Gaza Strip, as fighting between them escalated.
It said Iyad al-Hassani had directed the militant group’s operations since his predecessor was killed on Tuesday.
Friday’s strike, which medics said also killed another person, followed a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza, some of which reached near Jerusalem.
The chances of an imminent ceasefire appeared slim after the exchange.
However, a Palestinian official familiar with the talks taking place in Egypt told the BBC that Egyptian officials “presented this evening a new proposal for a ceasefire, which is being studied now”. Egypt was also waiting for Israel’s response, they added.
At least 33 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed – about half of them civilians – since Israel carried out a series of air strikes early on Tuesday that killed three top PIJ commanders, the Palestinian health ministry there says. Another 147 people have been wounded.
One Israeli civilian has been killed and five wounded by Palestinian rocket fire in the same period, Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service says.
The fighting which resumed on Friday came after 12 hours of relative calm, during which there were several Israeli air strikes but no Palestinian rocket attacks.
Around midday PIJ militants launched dozens of rockets. Some were aimed towards the Jerusalem area, about 65km (40 miles) from Gaza.
The Israeli military said two rockets heading to Jerusalem were intercepted, but another rocket reportedly landed in an open field near the Jewish settlement of Bat Ayin in the occupied West Bank, about 16km south of the city.