Israel-Gaza fighting continues for second day as death toll rises

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Israeli forces continued to hit targets in Gaza on Saturday while Palestinians responded by firing rockets at Israel as the fighting spilled into a second day.

Israel said it launched its military operation on Friday to eliminate “a concrete threat” against its citizens and to target “terrorists and their sponsors.” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said that a top commander of the Islamic Jihad militant group was killed.

The death toll rose to 15 as of Saturday afternoon, with 125 people injured, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which cites figures from the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza. A five-year-old Palestinian girl was among the people killed in the raids, according to a statement from the European Union External Action Service on Saturday.

The EU called for “maximum restraint on all sides,” according to a spokesperson for the EU’s diplomatic service led by Josep Borrell.

“The EU calls for maximum restraint on all sides in order to avoid a further escalation and further casualties,” the spokesperson said. “While Israel has the right to protect its civilian population, everything must be done to prevent a broader conflict, which would, first and foremost, affect the civilian populations on both sides and result in further casualties and more suffering.”