Homes destroyed in Gaza after Israel rocket fire

STORY: In the southern Gaza city of Rafah, men were trying to salvage furniture and personal belongings from damaged houses after Israeli strikes hit on Saturday (August 6).

Israel said the strikes were targeting the militant Islamic Jihad group. One killed senior commander Khaled Mansour.

Two associates and five civilians were also killed in the strike, according to the Islamic Jihad group which vowed "not let their blood dry before they bombard the settlements of the enemy".

About 30 Palestinians, at least a third of them civilians and two of them senior commanders of the Islamic Jihad militant group, have been killed since Friday (August 5) in the latest surge of fighting, while Palestinian rocket salvoes have sent tens of thousands Israelis to shelters.

The flare-up has worried world powers and prompted truce mediation by Egypt. It has been contained in part by the fact that Hamas, the governing Islamist group in the impoverished and blockaded Gaza Strip, has held fire.

Israel launched the Gaza strikes on Friday in what it described as the pre-emption of an Islamic Jihad attack meant to avenge the arrest of a group leader in the occupied West Bank.