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Israeli forces made nearly two dozen arrests overnight in the West Bank as the death toll in Gaza rose to 32 on Sunday.
All those arrested were allegedly members of the Islamic Jihad militant group, which has lost two of its senior commanders to Israeli strikes in recent days. The Palestinian Ministry has also alleged that Israeli airstrikes have killed 32 people, including six children, as tensions have escalated since Friday.
The IDF argues the children were killed by rocket attacks from Gaza militants that fell short of their targets in Israel, however.
The Israeli military announced an official operation after a coordinated strike killed top Islamic Jihad commander Tayseer Jabari last week. A second senior commander, Khaled Mansour, was killed on Saturday.
ISRAEL, GAZA MILITANTS EXCHANGE FIRE, MOVE CLOSER TO WAR
Tensions first began to climb after Israeli security forces arrested the leader of the Islamic Jihad group, Bassem Saadi.
ISRAEL KILLS TOP ISLAMIC JIHAD TERRORIST IN GAZA, ANNOUNCES FORMAL MILITARY OPERATION
Islamic Jihad militants have fired hundreds of rockets into Israel throughout the conflict, with some targeting Jerusalem.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid called the Saturday strike that killed Mansour an “extraordinary achievement,” and said Israel will continue its military operations in the area “as long as necessary.”
The IDF will strike “in a pinpoint and responsible way in order to reduce to a minimum the harm to noncombatants,” he added.
“The Israeli government will not allow terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip to set the agenda in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and threaten the citizens of the State of Israel,” Lapid said in a statement. “Anyone who tries to harm Israel should know: we will find you.”
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that the arrests took place in Gaza and that deaths were mounting in the West Bank. In fact, the arrests were in the West Bank and the deaths were in Gaza.