(Gaza) Twelve people, including three leaders of Islamic Jihad, but also children, according to local authorities, were killed Tuesday before dawn in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army announced for its part that it had carried out targeted operations against three commanders of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of this Palestinian Islamist movement that Israel considers “terrorist”.

Islamic Jihad confirmed in a statement the deaths of three Al-Quds Brigades officials, whom it identified as Jihad Ghannam, secretary of the Al-Quds Brigades Military Council, Khalil Al-Bahtini, a member of the same council and commander of the Brigades for the Northern Gaza Strip, and Tareq Ezzedine, “one of the leaders of military action” of the movement in the occupied West Bank, which he coordinated from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza left 12 dead, including “children”, and 20 injured, according to the Ministry of Health in this territory under the control of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

Rescue evacuation operations continue in areas affected by the strikes, the ministry added in a statement released around 5:30 a.m. (10:30 p.m. ET).

“We mourn the leaders and their wives and a number of their sons who were killed in a cowardly Zionist crime,” Islamic Jihad wrote in its statement, saying “the blood of martyrs will increase [the] resolve” of the movement.

Israel “has disdained all the initiatives of the mediators, the resistance will avenge the leaders” killed in the night, adds Islamic Jihad.

An AFP photographer saw the body of Jihad Ghannam at the morgue of a Palestinian hospital in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. In Gaza itself, an AFP journalist saw the top of a building on fire after these night strikes and ambulances evacuating victims.

The airstrikes, which began shortly after 2 a.m. (7 p.m. EST), were still underway around 3:50 a.m. (8:50 p.m. EST), according to AFP reporters in Gaza.

They come less than a week after the announcement of a truce obtained following Egyptian mediation after a new escalation of violence between the Israeli army and the Islamic Jihad following the death in an Israeli prison. of a leader of this movement on hunger strike for almost three months.

In separate statements issued for each of the Islamic Jihad officials targeted overnight, the IDF says it will “continue to act for the safety of civilians in Israel.”

The army presents Jihad Ghannam as “one of the most important leaders” of Islamic Jihad, saying that he was responsible for “coordinating the transfer of arms and money between the terrorist organization Hamas” and its own movement.

About Khalil Al-Bahtini, the military writes that he was “responsible for firing rockets (from Gaza) into Israel” over the past thirty days.

As for Tareq Ezzedine, she claims that “he had recently planned (and directed) multiple attacks against Israeli civilians” in the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, and that he had been sentenced to 25 years in prison in Israel for its “involvement” in suicide attacks, particularly in the 2000s.

Originally from Jenin, in the northern West Bank, Tareq Ezzedine was released following a prisoner exchange in 2011 and deported to the Gaza Strip, a territory under Hamas control since 2007.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has experienced a marked resurgence of violence since the beginning of the year, after the entry into office, at the end of December, of one of the most right-wing governments in the history of Israel, under the leadership of the Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Since the start of the year, at least 120 Palestinians, 19 Israelis, one Ukrainian and one Italian have been killed in conflict-related violence, according to an AFP tally compiled from official Israeli and Palestinian sources.

These statistics include, on the Palestinian side, combatants and civilians, including minors, and on the Israeli side, mostly civilians, including minors, and three members of the Arab minority.