July 7, 2014 - 12:30 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Israeli air strikes killed seven Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip on Monday, July 7 the Islamist group said, in the deadliest attacks in a surge of violence exacerbated by the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli youths and a Palestinian teen, accorindg to Reuters.
The Israeli military said its aircraft targeted "terror sites and concealed rocket launchers across the Gaza Strip", after about 25 projectiles were fired into Israel on Sunday.
Rocket fire from Hamas-controlled Gaza continued on Monday and one Israeli soldier was wounded, the army said.
Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have risen over the killing of three Jewish teenagers in the occupied West Bank, which Israel has blamed on Hamas, and of a 16-year-old Palestinian in East Jerusalem.
Israel on Sunday announced it had arrested six Jewish suspects in the apparent revenge murder of Mohammed Abu Khudair, whose charred body was found in Jerusalem on Wednesday, a day after Naftali Fraenkel and Gil-Ad Shaer, both 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, were buried.
The three Jewish seminary students went missing while hitchhiking on June 12. Hamas has neither confirmed nor denied having any role in their disappearance.
Hamas's armed wing said six of its members were killed in air strikes at a "resistance location" in the southern town of Rafah, at the Egyptian border early on Monday, a possible reference to a smuggling tunnel. It said aircraft also attacked in northern Gaza, killing one Hamas fighter.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to his cabinet on Sunday "to do whatever is necessary" to restore quiet to southern Israeli communities. But he also cautioned against any rush toward wider confrontation with Hamas, Gaza's dominant militant group, whose arsenal includes long-range rockets that can reach Israel's heartland and its business capital, Tel Aviv. Far-right members of Netanyahu's cabinet and politicians in Israel's south have pushed for a stronger response to the rocket fire that has disrupted life for many Israelis living in the region, where air raid sirens send them running for shelter.