Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a phone conversation with his American counterpart Lloyd Austin on Friday night to update him on the objectives and progress of the ongoing military offensive in the Gaza strip, dubbed ‘Operation Breaking Dawn.’ While the IDF claims it took out senior terrorists, Palestinian officials say dozens of civilians were killed or injured.
“Minister Gantz emphasized that the State of Israel is working to defend its citizens, and will operate decisively and with as great precision as possible against terror operatives and infrastructure in order to reach its objectives,” Gantz’s office said in statement about the call.
Israeli jets struck an apartment building in Gaza earlier on Friday, eliminating Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Taysir al-Jabari, while an additional 10-20 PIJ operatives were targeted with missiles and artillery.
Palestinian officials say that at least 10 civilians were killed in the strikes, among them a five-year-old girl. Another 55 were reported injured.
In retaliation, Palestinian militants fired dozens of rockets at Israel, warning that a wider offensive would follow. Air raid sirens could be heard across southern Israel for hours, as air defenses were activated to intercept incoming projectiles.