As violence erupted amid US pleas for “urgent efforts” to restore calm, Israeli jets attacked Gaza early on Thursday. Palestinian militants responded by firing rockets at the Israeli aircraft.
Israel said that the dawn attacks, which hit Hamas’s military training facilities in Gaza, were in retaliation for a previous missile fire.
According to a military statement from Israel, fighter jets “targeted a production location for raw chemical material processing, preservation and storage coupled with a manufacturing plant” that belonged to Hamas.
The strikes came “in response to the rocket launch from the Gaza Strip into Israel earlier” Wednesday.
“(Hamas) will face the consequences of the security violations against Israel,” the army said on Twitter.
Defence Minister Yoav Gallant vowed that Israel stood ready to respond to any attack.
“Every attempt to harm our citizens will be met with the full force of the IDF.”
The Israeli attacks, according to a spokesman for Hamas named Hazem Qassem, are “a continuation of the cycle of violence against the Palestinian people.”
Israel, according to him, has “opened the door to escalation on the ground.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken pleaded with both Israeli and Palestinian officials earlier this week to stop further bloodshed.
He expressed sorrow for “innocent” Palestinians killed in months of spiralling violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, warning that the Palestinian people faced “a shrinking horizon of hope”.