Israeli jets have pounded the Gaza Strip, killing at least five Palestinians a day after a deadly covert Israeli operation in the besieged enclave drew rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled territory.
At least seven Palestinians, including a Hamas military commander, were killed in the Sunday night raid near the Khan Younis city raising fears of another war.
An Israeli soldier was killed during the botched operation in the enclave, which has been under an Israeli land, air and sea blockade since 2007.
Israeli artillery units also shelled positions across the densely populated enclave, including the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV station headquarters.
Israel said its Iron Dome defence system intercepted many of the 300 missiles fired by the Palestinians.
Since 2008, Israel has launched three major assaults on Gaza that have heavily damaged the Strip’s infrastructure and sources of livelihood.
Violence has flared up frequently on the frontier since Palestinians in the Gaza Strip began weekly protests along the fence with Israel on March 30, demanding their right to return to the homes their families were expelled from 70 years ago.
More than 200 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more wounded by Israeli troops deployed along the other side of the fence since the Great March of Return demonstrations began on March 30.