The IDF said it has carried out targeted killing of a senior Islamic Jihad official Saturday evening, who served as the terror group's southern command chief.
The operation to eliminate Khaled Mansour, along with his assistant Ahmed al-Madlal, was carried out in cooperation with the Shin Bet, according to the military.
IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen Ran Kochav said Mansour held the parallel position to Tayseer Jabari, who was the group's northern command chief and who was killed in a strike on Friday, effectively kickstarting the latest military campaign in the Strip, dubbed Operation Breaking Dawn.
"The operation was carried out by the air force jets with the approval of Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz," he said.
"He had been among those planning attacks against Israelis in the past week and was responsible for hundreds of rocket launches during the May 2021 fighting as well as the killing of IDF soldier Eliraz Peretz in 2010.
"Our message is that no terrorist leader has a safe place to hid," the spokesperson said.
According to Palestinian sources, dozens were killed or injured in the attack.
Palestinians in Gaza reported also said that at least four children were killed, and 15 people injured in a separate attack on the Jabalyia refugee camp in the center of the Strip.
The IDF said no Israeli strikes were carried out in the area at the time, and that the children were victims of an errant rocket fired by Palestinian militants.
"Following the reports of the tragic events in Jabaliya, the IDF concluded an in-depth debrief. Based on all the IDF systems data, it appears that this event is the outcome of an Islamic Jihad rocket misfire. We did not conduct any activities in Jabaliya at the time of the event," the IDF said in a statement.
According to the military, at least 100 rockets failed to cross into Israel and exploded inside the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinians demanded the UN security council convene a special meeting to discuss the Israeli offensive in Gaza, to be held on Monday.
The United Arab Em relayed the Palestinian request to the council, having been urged to do so by Arab nations, Israeli officials said.
Earlier on Saturday evening, the Gaza faction fired a heavy barrage of rockets towards Tel Aviv and central Israel, after the south had been under repeated attacks all day.
One rocket hit the parking lot of a residential building in Ashkelon, causing damage to cars but no injuries. Another rocket landed outside a food plant near the border, there again no people were injured.
The Iron Dome missile defense system had a 96% success rate in intercepting projectiles fired from Gaza, according to the IDF.
Of the 350 rockets fired between Friday and Saturday afternoon, 94 had landed inside Gaza, 29 fell into the sea and 160 were intercepted by the Iron Dome.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Israel would continue its operation to ensure the security of residents in the south. Lapid spoke at the start of the security cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.