Cross-border fire between Israel and Hamas continued late Wednesday into Thursday with three Palestinians, including a pregnant woman, her one-year-old child and a Hamas militant, killed in the Israeli strikes.
The Israeli army said it launched the attack, targeting over 140 Hamas military sites, in response to more than 150 rockets and mortars being fired into Israel and gunfire earlier on Wednesday that targeted civilian construction workers on the Gaza border.
Army spokesman Jonathan Conricus would not comment on the incident that killed the mother and child.
“We targeted by definition only military targets that were clearly used by Hamas,’’ Conricus told reporters on Thursday.
Israel is reinforcing its brigades along the Gaza border, the spokesman said, adding that the army is “ready for any scenario.’’
The flare-up comes despite Egyptian-mediated efforts to broker a ceasefire between Gaza’s rulers, the Islamist Hamas organisation, and Israel.
Another 12 Palestinians were wounded in the violence, said Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ahsraf al-Qedra, who also confirmed the death toll of three.
At least four Israelis and a Thai citizen were injured from the rocket fire, according to emergency medical services.