Israel fired artillery and launched air raids into Gaza on Saturday morning in response to what it said had been scores of rockets launched out of the strip, escalating tensions after an airstrike killed two Hamas members and Israeli border forces shot two protesters on Friday. It said dozens of the rockets were intercepted by its Iron Dome rocket-defence system.
Drones, helicopters and tanks were used to strike Beit Lahiya in the north of the Strip and around Gaza City.
Across the border, rocket sirens sent Israelis running to shelters, but there were no reports of casualties as numerous missiles were intercepted.
A Palestinian was killed by an Israeli strike in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, the health ministry in the Strip said.
"The United States strongly condemns the ongoing barrage of rocket attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from Gaza upon innocent civilians and their communities across Israel", the United States government stated on Saturday night.
In response, the IDF targeted a Hamas military post in an aerial strike, killing two Hamas operatives.
A small armed pro-Hamas group in Gaza, The Protectors of Al-Aqsa, said one of its men was killed in an air strike on Saturday. The Israeli Army's chief of staff, Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, met senior security officials, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to be briefed.
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Egypt has been trying to reach a long-term cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, who fought three wars the past decade.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said Israel would "respond forcefully and swiftly to any attack on the security of our people".
"The rocket fire from Gaza towards Israel must stop immediately". Two Israeli soldiers have been killed in that period. At dawn, two Islamic Jihad militants were killed by an airstrike in central Gaza Strip, the group said.
The military launched a series of reprisal strikes from air and land, hitting targets throughout the coastal enclave connected to Hamas, the islamist group that rules Gaza, and the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization. The Health Ministry is controlled by Hamas and its claims have not always been reliable.
Palestinians have participated in regular demonstrations and clashes along the Gaza border for more than a year, calling on Israel to ease its crippling blockade of the enclave.
Israel hit 30 Gaza targets, including a "high-end Islamic Jihad tunnel" prepared to attack Israel, according to Conricus. With no imminent end to the hostilities in sightt, workplaces will only be permitted to open only if they have access to a bomb shelter, and gatherings of more than 300 people also will not be allowed, including in shopping centers, Times of Israel reported.