Clashes have erupted between Palestinian militants in Gaza and the Israel Defense Forces, with the two trading fire on Thursday as tensions reached levels not seen since a major outbreak of violence last year.
A series of rockets were fired from Gaza starting late on Wednesday night, some of which were intercepted by Israeli defenses, according to the IDF, while at least one landed in southern Israel. There were no reports of casualties or damage, and no group claimed responsibility for the rockets.
Tel Aviv responded by ordering airstrikes on several sites it said were used by Hamas, sharing footage of the attack in progress. It is unclear if the strikes resulted in deaths or injuries.
Following the IDF bombing, four additional rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, landing in an open area in the city of Sderot and again causing no damage. While no group claimed the initial rocket strikes, Hamas later said it fired surface-to-air missiles at the Israeli warplanes.
The flare-up comes amid soaring hostilities in Jerusalem, where Israeli security forces have repeatedly cracked down on worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan. Violence broke out at the site last weekend, seeing more than 150 Palestinians injured in scuffles with Israeli officers.
A rally by an ultra-nationalist Jewish group planned for Wednesday may have marked another flashpoint, but Israeli police erected barricades to prevent the marchers from reaching the Damascus Gate in occupied East Jerusalem.
Last May, similar clashes at the al-Aqsa Mosque sparked 11 days of fighting between the IDF and Hamas which killed more than 130 civilians and left thousands more injured, most in the Gaza Strip.