Israel says it killed Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza airstrike

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The Israeli army killed Tayseer al-Jabari, the commander of the Islamic Jihad group, in an airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip, Israeli officials said Friday.

The big picture: The airstrike came amid heightened tensions on the Israel-Gaza border following the arrest of a senior Islamic Jihad member earlier this week in the occupied West Bank.

  • Friday’s strikes are likely to lead to a broader escalation after a year of relative calm in Gaza.
  • There were reports of several injuries in Gaza.
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Send the news: The Israeli army on Tuesday arrested Bassam al-Saadi, a senior Islamic Jihad official, in the northern city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

  • Islamic Jihad publicly threatened retaliation for the arrest. Israeli officials said Israel had information that the group planned to attack military and civilian vehicles traveling near the border with anti-tank missiles.
  • Since Tuesday, all Israeli villages close to the Gaza border have been in lockdown for fear of an attack.
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Situation: In recent days, Egyptian intelligence, Qatari officials and UN diplomats have been in intense dialogue with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Israel to try to prevent an escalation.

  • Israeli officials said the mediation effort was fruitless and Islamic Jihad continued to prepare for the attacks.

This is a story in development. Come back for updates.

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