The Israeli military said it struck in Gaza overnight on Thursday, hours after intercepting a rocket launched from Gaza and following US calls for all parties to calm escalating violence in Israel and the occupied West Bank.
There were no reports of serious casualties at the time of compiling this report.
In response to Wednesday’s rocket launch, the military said its air strikes targeted rocket and weapon production sites used by Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the blockaded strip.
Powerful explosions shook buildings and lit up the night sky over Gaza on Thursday, as warning sirens sounded again in Israeli areas surrounding the strip, warning of more incoming rocket fire before dawn.
Hamas or the smaller Iran-backed Islamic Jihad movement, which fired rockets at Israel last week, made no claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s rocket.
In response to the air strikes and “systematic aggression” against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, the armed wing of the leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said it launched rocket salvos at Israel early Thursday.
The exchange of fire highlighted Israeli-Palestinian tensions after a Palestinian gunman killed seven people near an East Jerusalem synagogue and an Israeli raid in a West Bank refugee camp killed ten Palestinians.
Barbara Leaf, the top US diplomat for the Middle East, and Hady Amr, the US special representative for Palestinian affairs, remained behind to continue de-escalation talks between the parties.
Following the rocket launch on Wednesday, Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who oversees prisons, said in a tweet that he would press ahead with plans to toughen conditions for Palestinian prisoners.
“The rocket fire from Gaza will not stop me from continuing efforts to cancel summer camp conditions for murderous terrorists,” he said, adding that he had asked the security cabinet to convene.
Israel has been conducting near-daily raids in the West Bank since a wave of deadly Palestinian attacks in Israel last year, resulting in a bloody January for Palestinians in which 35 people, both militants and civilians, were killed.