Three Islamic Jihad commanders among multiple dead in Israeli strikes on Gaza

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(CNN) — Three Islamic Jihad commanders were among at least a dozen people killed in airstrikes by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) on Gaza early Tuesday, Palestinian officials said.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza said at least 12 people died and 20 were injured in the strikes as of 5 a.m. local time as it warned the number of casualties could rise.

"Ambulance crews are still continuing to evacuate victims from the areas targeted by the occupation," the Ministry of Health said, referring to Israel.

Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad said three of its commanders were killed along with their wives and children.

The militant group said commanders were Jihad Shaker Al-Ghannam, secretary of the Military Council in the al Quds Brigades; Khalil Salah al Bahtini, commander of the Northern Region in the al Quds Brigades; and Tariq Muhammad Ezzedine, one of the leaders of the military wing of the al Quds Brigades in the West Bank.

The Islamic Jihad statement did not say how many other people had been killed.

Israel said Tuesday its airstrikes in Gaza were a "response to incessant aggression on the part of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization."

The country's National Security Council said in a statement that the group had fired 102 rockets toward southern Israel a week earlier, on May 2.

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said the strikes were targeted: "Our focus is Islamic Jihad only."

This is a developing story. More to come

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