According to the ministry, deaths included women and children.
Witnesses claim to have seen a burning structure.
Israeli forces stated that their raid targeted three Islamic Jihad commanders.
PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, GAZA CITY: Tuesday morning, Israel began airstrikes on the Palestinian organisation Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, according to the military. The Hamas-run territory’s health ministry reported 12 casualties.
The government stated that women and children were among the deceased but did not provide any other information on the victims’ identities.
Witnesses in Gaza described seeing a burning structure and wounded being evacuated quickly.
Three commanders of Islamic Jihad, whom they categorise as members of a terrorist group, were the focus of the operation, according to the Israeli army.
Jihad Ghannam, the secretary of the Al-Quds Brigades military council, and Khalil al-Bahtini, a member of the council and the commander of the military wing in northern Gaza, were identified by the organisation as the three top leaders who were slain.
Islamic Jihad referred to the third, Tareq Ezzedine, as “one of the heads of military action” in the occupied West Bank who worked out of Gaza.
An AFP photographer saw the lifeless body of a guy named Ghannam in Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip.
Islamic Jihad released a statement in which it declared, “We mourn the leaders and their wives and a number of their children who were killed in a cowardly Zionist crime,” promising that “the blood of martyrs will increase (the) resolve” of the cause.
According to AFP correspondents, the airstrikes, which started just after 2 a.m., were still ongoing almost two hours later with a second explosion reported in the east.
The operation takes place less than a week after Islamic Jihad established a truce surrounding Gaza that was mediated with assistance from Egypt in response to a recent escalation in hostilities.
After Khader Adnan, who had been on a hunger strike for 87 days after being detained because of connections to Islamic State, passed away while being held by Israel, fighters from Gaza and Israel exchanged gunfire across the border.
Asserting that Israel had “scorned all the initiatives of mediators” on Tuesday, the Islamic Jihad threatened to “avenge the leaders” murdered in the most recent airstrikes.
Army of Israel’s functions
The Israeli army declared it will “continue to operate for the security of the civilians in the state of Israel” in separate releases that listed each member of the Islamic Jihad who had been slain.
Ghannan was described by the military as “one of the most senior members of the organisation” who was “tasked with coordinating weapons and money transfers between the Hamas terrorist organisation” and his organisation.
Israel claimed that Bahtini was “at fault” for the recent missile attacks on Israel.
In the West Bank, Ezzedine recently “planned and directed (sic) multiple attacks against Israeli” citizens.
He was convicted of participating in suicide bombings in the 2000s and given a 25-year jail term by Israel. He was later released in a 2011 prisoner swap and moved to Gaza, according to the army.
Israel and Gaza have engaged in several battles.
Last August, a three-day confrontation in Gaza resulted in 49 Palestinian deaths but none on the Israeli side.
With the deaths on Tuesday, there have now been 120 Palestinians killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this year.
According to an AFP figure based on official sources from the two sides, 19 Israelis, one Ukrainian, and one Italian had died within the same period.