Two Palestinians were killed and five were wounded Thursday in a pre-dawn Israeli air strike on the border between the southern Gaza Strip and Egypt, medical sources and witnesses said.
The casualties occurred when Israeli war jets struck an underground smuggling tunnel with air-to-ground missiles, the Health Ministry in Gaza said in an emailed press statement.
Israeli media quoted Israeli army officials as saying the air strike was retaliation for rocket attacks on Eilat that were launched from Sinai.
Overnight, radical militants in the Egyptian Peninsula of Sinai fired about seven makeshift rockets into southern Israel, according to an Israeli army spokesman, adding that Israel's Iron Dome defense system intercepted three rockets.
The spokesman said the other four rockets landed at empty areas in the suburbs of the southern Israeli city of Eilat, close to the border between Israel and Egypt, adding that no injuries were reported.
Two days ago, Israeli warplanes carried out about 17 successive airstrikes on Gaza military posts and facilities belonging to the Islamic Hamas movement's armed wing and other militant groups.
Egypt brokered a ceasefire agreement between Gaza Hamas-led militant groups and Israel in 2014 to end 50 days of a large-scale Israeli air and ground military offensive.
Some 2,200 Palestinians and 70 Israelis were killed in that conflict.
© 2021 dpa GmbH