As Israeli airstrikes hit the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a smaller militant group allied to Hamas, fired several hundred rockets into the former’s civilian areas.
The State Department of the US on Saturday said that The US fully supported Israel’s right to defend itself and asked both sides to avoid escalation.
The State Department also said that they are concerned by the death of civilians and called for “a timely and thorough” probe into those casualties.
PIJ had fired over 400 rockets at Israel which were mostly intercepted by the Israeli air defence system but set air raid sirens and sent people into bomb shelters. The Israeli ambulance service said that there were no casualties.
According to a report from Reuters, Egypt said that they were engaged in talks to defuse the situation and further escalation would depend on if Hamas join PIJ in the clash.
Egypt also has sent a delegation to mediate between the two fighting sides.
The clash between Israel and forces and Gaza has disrupted a year-long peace and Israel launched a surprise attack that killed a senior PIJ commander and claimed to hit other military targets.
Israel ceased the transport of fuel in the city right before it attacked on Friday. This led to the city’s lone power to operate at lower capacities and offer electricity for around 8 hours of a day.
Both sides have been quiet since May 2021 after 11 days of vicious attacks. The clash last year killed around 150 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.