EXPLAINER: What is driving the current Israel-Gaza violence

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip were exchanging fire Saturday in the worst bout of cross-border violence since an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas last year.

Israeli airstrikes have killed 11 people, including a senior commander from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Iran-backed militant group, who was slain in a targeted attack.

That came following the arrest this week of another senior Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank in what’s been a monthslong Israeli operation to round up Palestinians suspected of attacks.

Militants have fired dozens of rockets at Israeli cities and towns, disrupting life for tens of thousands of people.

Here's a look at the latest round of violence:

IN HAMAS' SHADOW

Islamic Jihad is the smaller of the two main Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip, and is vastly outnumbered by the ruling Hamas group. But it enjoys direct financial and military backing from Iran, and has become the driving force in engaging in rocket attacks and other confrontations with Israel.