Islamic Jihad leader killed in West Bank and 70 targets hit in Gaza, says Israel

<span>Eight people were also injured in the Israeli strike on the Jenin refugee camp.</span><span>Photograph: Alaa Badarneh/EPA</span>
Eight people were also injured in the Israeli strike on the Jenin refugee camp.Photograph: Alaa Badarneh/EPA

Israel says its jets have struck 70 targets across Gaza in the past 24 hours, while an airstrike in Jenin killed a “significant” Islamic Jihad figure who operated as the head of logistics for the organisation’s brigade in the city.

The strike, carried out on Friday night by a fighter jet and a helicopter, killed Islam Khamayseh, a “senior terrorist operative in the Jenin camp” who was responsible for a series of attacks in the area, the IDF said.

“A number of significant terrorists were inside the compound,” it said in a statement posted to Telegram.

Related: Supplies arrive in Gaza via new pier but land routes essential, says US aid chief

Al-Quds Brigade, the armed wing of the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, confirmed in a statement that one of its members was killed and several others wounded during the Israeli raid.

Al-Quds Brigade said Khamayseh was a leader of the Jenin battalion, which is affiliated with Islamic Jihad.

The Palestinian ministry of health said one person was killed while eight were wounded and receiving hospital treatment as a result of the strike.

In a related operation in the city about six months ago, a drone strike resulted in the killing of five men who, according to the IDF, were part of a “terrorist organisation”.

On Saturday, Israeli troops and tanks pushed into parts of a congested northern Gaza Strip district that they had previously skirted in the more than seven-month-old war, killing and wounding dozens of Palestinians, medics and residents said.

Armed forces edged into streets so far spared the ground offensive, residents said. In one strike, medics said 15 Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded.

The Gaza health ministry and the Civil Emergency Service said teams received dozens of calls about possible casualties but were unable to carry out any searches because of the ongoing ground offensive and the aerial bombardment.

After the Israel-Hamas conflict erupted on 7 October, a wave of violence has swept through the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967.

Palestinian officials report that more than 500 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces or settlers since the start of the conflict. During the same period, at least 20 Israelis have also been killed, according to a tally from the Agence France-Presse (AFP) based on official Israeli data.

In Gaza, Israeli tanks and warplanes bombarded parts of Rafah on Friday, while the armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said they had fired anti-tank missiles and mortars at forces massing to the east, south-east and inside the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, Reuters reported.

One person was killed and other passengers were severely injured after a car was struck by a drone in the western part of Rafah, according to the Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud.

Mahmoud, who is reporting from Deir el-Balah, said the car was on the way to central Gaza on the coastal road. The Guardian has been unable to independently verify the report.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (Unrwa) said more than 630,000 people had fled Rafah since the offensive began on 6 May.

“They’re moving to areas where there is no water – we’ve got to truck it in – and people aren’t getting enough food,” Sam Rose, the director of planning at Unrwa, told Reuters on Friday by telephone from Rafah, where he said it was eerily quiet.

Humanitarian assistance has begun to arrive in Gaza along a US-made pier, but the US aid chief said the new sea corridor could not be a substitute for land crossings, and warned that deliveries of food and fuel entering Gaza had slowed to “dangerously low levels”.

The White House national security spokesperson, John Kirby, confirmed on Friday that truckloads of humanitarian aid, including food from the United Arab Emirates, sent by ship from Cyprus, had been unloaded on the Gaza coast and handed over to the control of the UN.

Kirby told reporters at a White House briefing: “Hopefully by the time we’re done here, some of that stuff will actually be in the mouths of some hungry people.”

The Associated Press, however, quoted an unnamed UN official as saying distribution of the shipment had not begun as of Friday afternoon.

The UK said the aid delivery unloaded on Friday also included 8,400 kits to provide temporary shelter made of plastic sheeting.

Hamas issued a statement on Friday saying the US-built pier off the Gaza Strip was no alternative to opening all land crossings under Palestinian supervision, adding that they rejected any military presence on Palestinian land.

Trucks carrying badly needed aid for the Gaza Strip started rolling across a newly built US pier and into Gaza for the first time.

Friday’s shipment is the first in an operation that US military officials anticipate could scale up to 150 truckloads a day, reports the Associated Press (AP).

It comes as Israeli restrictions on border crossings and heavy fighting hindered the delivery of food and other supplies seven months into the Israel-Hamas war.

The war was triggered by Hamas’s attack in Israel in which 1,200 died, mainly civilians, and about 250 were taken hostage.

As a result of Israel’s retaliatory offensive on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, at least 35,386 Palestinians have been killed and 79,366 have been wounded, the Gaza health ministry said on Saturday.

About half of the approximately 250 people abducted on 7 October have since been freed, most in swaps for Israeli-held Palestinian prisoners during a week-long ceasefire in November. According to Israeli authorities, about 30 are confirmed to have died.

On Saturday, the Families Forum released a statement saying one hostage, Ron Benjamin, had died. The organisation’s statement said 128 hostages remained in captivity.

The bodies of three hostages kidnapped by Hamas, including the German-Israeli Shani Louk, have been retrieved from Gaza by the Israeli military, it announced.

The other two hostages were identified as Amit Buskila, 28, and Itzhak Gelerenter, 56, according to the military spokesperson R Adm Daniel Hagari, who said the three victims were taken to Gaza after being killed by Hamas at the Nova music festival.

Footage of what appeared to be the body of Louk, 22, on the back of a pickup truck on the streets of Gaza was among the first images to surface after 7 October, as the scale of the attacks became clear.

She was initially believed to have been alive when she was kidnapped during Hamas’s assault in Re’im. However, on 30 October, Louk’s sister Adi confirmed Shani had died, probably during the attack, after the discovery of human remains that suggested fatal injuries.

AFP, Reuters and AP contributed to this report