Violence has risen along the Israeli-Gaza frontier in the past month, which could further complicate US-backed diplomacy in the region.

At least two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli soldiers close to the northern border of the besieged strip on Saturday.

Netanyahu told a weekly cabinet session on Sunday that 20 mortar bombs and rockets had been fired at Israel from the Hamas-ruled territory last week, vowing an "immediate and powerful response" to any such attacks in the future.

Rocket and mortar attacks were also cited as the reasons for Israel's 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip, which began in late December 2008 and left more than 1,300 Palestinians dead.

Thirteen Israelis were killed during the conflict.