Gaza death toll rises to 29

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories (AFP) — The death toll from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza has risen to 29, including six children, as the Islamic Jihad said it had fired rockets at Jerusalem on Sunday, the third day of resumption of hostilities between the Palestinian militants and Israel.

Al Quds Brigades, the movement’s military wing, said in a statement they had “fired rockets” at the city, a short while after air raid sirens were activated and explosions heard, marking the first time Jerusalem was targeted in this round of violence.

The health ministry in the Palestinian enclave said Sunday it corrected the initial number of people killed (32), including six children and four women.

It also said that 253 people in Gaza had been wounded since the hostilities with Israel broke out on Friday.

The violence is the worst in Gaza since a war last year that devastated the impoverished territory home to some 2.3 million Palestinians and forced countless Israelis to seek shelter from rockets.

Israel has said it was necessary to launch a “preemptive” operation against Islamic Jihad, as the group had been planning an imminent attack following days of tensions along the border with Gaza.

Islamic Jihad is aligned with Hamas but often acts independently. Both are blacklisted as terrorist organizations by much of the West.

Hamas has fought four wars with Israel since seizing control of Gaza in 2007, including the conflict last May.

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