Jerusalem: The fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was shattered by fresh rocket attacks by Gaza-based militants on southern Israel, prompting strong retaliatory aerial strikes on Friday in, which seven Palestinians were killed, including two Islamic Jihad operatives.
Salim Al-Arabid and Alaa Hamdan died in the airstrike in northern Gaza on Friday evening, Islamic Jihad`s military wing said, in a statement.
Palestinians sources in the Gaza Strip said, that Israel Air Force aircrafts struck targets in the southwestern Gaza neighbourhood of Sudaniya yesterday evening.
Israeli defence sources said that the strike targeted a terror cell gearing to fire projectiles at Israel.
The Gaza operation followed a cabinet meeting called by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the second such meeting in two days, in order to discuss the escalation in the south.
The air strikes followed yet another rocket salvo at Israel`s southern region, which gnawed further in the fragile informal ceasefire achieved with Gaza`s militant factions under Egyptian mediation.
Earlier, 10 rockets, including one mortar, launched from Gaza exploded in southern Israel Thursday afternoon.
Tensions flared up in the region following a series of shooting attacks in southern Israel last Thursday in, which eight Israelis were killed.
At least thirty one people have been killed in the latest flare up for, which the Israelis blamed Popular Resistance Committee (PRC), an umbrella organisation of Gaza militants, which denied responsibility for the deadly Thursday attacks last week.