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Five-year-old girl killed as Israel launches new bombardment of Gaza

A FIVE-year-old girl was among those killed as Israel launched air strikes against Palestine’s besieged Gaza Strip this afternoon. 

Eight more died in the bombardment and at least 44 were reported to have been injured, the Palestinian health ministry said, with the figures likely to rise as shelling continued. 

The missile attack heralded the beginning of a new Israeli operation on Gaza Strip, dubbed Dawn Rising, which it claimed was targeting the Islamic Jihad resistance group.

Tensions had been running high with the arrest of leading Islamic Jihad official Bassam al-Saadi on Monday.

Israeli forces intensified the crippling blockade on Gaza’s two million people by closing border crossings for four consecutive days, piling on the misery for the besieged Palestinian community. 

Defence minister Benny Gantz vowed to eliminate the threat of the Palestinian resistance “one way or another” ahead of the air strikes. 

“To our enemies in general and to the heads of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, I say explicitly — your time is limited,” he said. 

Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ziad al-Nakhala said the Israelis had started “a war without surrender,” promising victory to the Palestinian people. 

“The resistance fighters must stand as one, we have no red lines and no place to stop,” he said. 

“Israel continues its violations in the West Bank and in Jerusalem. Tomorrow Israel plans to invade al-Aqsa Mosque. 

“The resistance will survive this war with courage and heroism, and God willing the victory will be a gift to the Palestinian people,” he said. 

Israel claimed to have killed 10 members of Islamic Jihad and Taysir al-Jabari, a senior figure of the group, in the air strikes.

Last year, 67 children were among more than 260 Palestinians killed during an 11-day bombardment of Gaza. 

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