Early on Sunday, Israel took Gaza under artillery fire and airstrikes in response to alleged rocket fire from the direction of the coastal land.
Palestinian news agency Sama quoted former Israeli communications minister Ayub al-Qara as saying that it was time for Tel Aviv to assassinate Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh and the movement's leader Yahya al-Sinwar.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement that "the targeting of some Gaza areas and its agricultural lands by the Zionist enemy is an aggression that adds to the regime's crimes against our people.”
"The resistance will continue its duty to defend the people and liberate our land and holy sites. Thus, the enemy and its settlers will experience despair and defeat," he added.
Qassem also hailed the confrontation of the resistance’s anti-aircraft systems with Israeli warplanes.
"Greetings to the proud men of the resistance who repel the enemy's attack with missiles and anti-aircraft systems, and greetings to our brave people who stand on the front line to confront the enemy,” he said.
Al-Aqsa TV reported that during the Israeli raid, Palestinian air defense forces fired two rockets, of SAM-7 type, at Israeli helicopters over Gaza’s western coast.
On Saturday, the Israeli army said two rockets were fired from Gaza toward the occupied territories. One of them exploded in the sea off the coast of Jaffa, while the second impacted off the coast of Palmachim.
According to some reports, resistance groups in Gaza blamed the rocket fire on “weather conditions” and said it was not an intentional action.
Israeli military officials, however, told Walla new website that Tel Aviv was seeking to respond in a way that would “not cause an escalation but convey the message that incidents on the border and rocket launches are unacceptable.”
Citing unnamed sources, Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen television network said Hamas had informed Egyptian mediators that if Israel struck Gaza, it would lead to a response.