Sirens were heard in Tel Aviv on Saturday after the Israeli military claimed that members of the Islamic Jihad movement fired rockets near the Gaza border.
The latest escalation was described as the worst since the 11-day conflict in May 2021, with the Israeli military on Saturday threatening to “launch a pre-emptive operation”.
This comes after the Israeli army launched air strikes on Gaza on Friday. The raid destroyed a five-storey building in Gaza.
Fifteen Palestinians were killed, including the little girl, Alaa Abdullah Qaddoum, and 120 others were wounded, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
Eyewitnesses said that Qaddum had a pink bow in her hair and a wound on her forehead, as her father carried her body at her funeral.
Watch: Air raid on Gaza
Britain stands by Israel
On Saturday, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss He said The UK “stands with Israel and its right to defend itself”.
“We condemn terrorist groups’ shooting at civilians and the violence that has resulted in casualties on both sides. We call for a speedy end to the violence.”
Truss failed to acknowledge the lives of Palestinians lost in the Israeli offensive on Gaza.
South Africa’s response
Meanwhile, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) in South Africa condemned the Israeli attacks on Gaza, saying:
“It is of particular grave concern that Israeli military statements indicate that the process will ‘take a long time’ and that ongoing attacks continue to put innocent civilians in grave danger.”
Derko said Israel “has specific obligations regarding international human rights and humanitarian law, which it continues to violate without being held accountable.”
“The killing of children by the Israeli government must be addressed urgently.”
Palestinian children deserve security
Back in July, Minister Pandor addressed the Conference of Heads of Palestinian Missions to Africa, saying that South Africa highlighted the plight of children in times of war.
She said that the persistence of human rights violations in Gaza “confirms that such violations only contribute to fueling hatred.”
She said Israel would not find security “in the annexation of all Palestinian lands, or the imprisonment of Palestinians, or the continuation of the siege of Gaza.”
“It lies in a peaceful and stable neighbour, an independent and sovereign Palestinian state, whose children, like Israeli children, can go to school, play, attend places of worship and compete in sporting activities in peace and security.”
No ceasefire negotiations
As I mentioned France Press agencyAn Israeli military spokesman said that his forces are “preparing for the operation that will last a week,” adding that the army “is currently not conducting negotiations for a ceasefire.”
Meanwhile, the leader of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Gaza, Muhammad al-Hindi, said that “the battle is still in its infancy.”
“Islamic Jihad responded in a limited manner, and in doing so prevented the occupation (the Israeli army) from intensifying its air raids,” Muhammad al-Hindi said.
Pictures and quotes from the Israeli military spokesman and jihadist leader Muhammad al-Hindi from Agence France-Presse.