The toll due to the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza rose to 31, Al Jazeera reported.

More than 260 people have been injured in the fresh spate of violence which began on Friday after Israel killed a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group.

The commander was identified as Taysir al-Jabari, a prominent figure in the Iran-backed militant group, according to the BBC.

Israel said that its actions were part of a preemptive operation against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and could last for over a week.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid described the militant group as an “Iranian proxy” that allegedly wants to destroy Israel, according to Al Jazeera.

Palestinians salvage belongings from the rubble of their home, following Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, on August 7, 2022. | Source: Mahmud Hams/AFP

The latest violence comes a year after the flare-up between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza, which lasted 11 days and caused 240 deaths.

Hamas, which is the largest militant group in Gaza, has so far appeared to be on the sidelines of the conflict and has kept its response limited, the Associated Press reported.

On Sunday, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said it has fired rockets toward Jerusalem in retaliation for the killing of Khaled Mansour, its commander in the south of the Gaza Strip.

This was the first time that Palestinian rockets fired from the Gaza Strip reached Jerusalem since the 2021 conflict, according to the BBC. No casualties were reported.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Military said that an errant rocket fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was responsible for the death of civilians, including children, in the town of Jabaliya in northern Gaza.

The military claimed it investigated the attack and concluded “without a doubt” that it was caused by a misfire from the Palestinian militant group.

Reaction from the US

The United States on Saturday said it was concerned about the reports of civilian deaths and called for “a timely and thorough” probe into those casualties.

Tor Wennesland, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, warned that the “dangerous” escalation could risk creating the need for more aid at a time when world resources were stretched by other conflicts.

“There can be no justification for any attacks against civilians,” Wennesland said. “I call on all sides to avoid further escalation.”