Izz al-Din al-Qassam, the armed wing of Hamas, threatened on Sunday to respond to an Israeli air strike earlier in the day it said targeted a Palestinian refugee camp.

"Our response to this serious escalation will be one of deterrence and it will happen soon in the depths of the criminal Zionist entity," it said in a statement.

"We call on all the cells of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades in all areas to quickly respond in the depths of the Zionist enemy to the treacherous aggression on Syria," it added.

Israeli jets on Sunday struck what they claimed was a training camp for the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad near the Syrian capital Damascus. But the Syrians and Palestinians say the Israelis aimed at a civilian target.

Indignation

The armed wing of Hamas voiced indignation over the Israeli raid and said it amounted to attacking all Palestinians.

"Any assault on any Arab and Muslim country is an assault on the Palestinian people, part of the Arab and Muslim nation," the statement said.

"After the Haifa martyrdom attack, the criminal enemy has attempted to export its internal crisis caused by the Palestinian resistance so they launched an air attack on Syria targeting places for Palestinian refugees."

"Israel has tried to chase those whom it displaced with the Zionist occupation decades ago…" the statement further alleged.

Sunday's air raid follows the bombing of a restaurant in the northern Israeli town of Haifa on Saturday, which left at least 19 dead, including several Arabs as well as Israelis. The bombing was carried out by a Palestinian woman and responsibility was claimed by Islamic Jihad.