The Israeli army launched an airstrike Monday against Hamas targets inside Gaza Strip in an attempt to stop the smuggling of weapons into the Strip from the besieged enclave, the Israeli military said.
The military said in a statement the strike hit a vehicle transporting arms from Gaza to the Gaza Strip, killing three militants and injuring five.
In addition to the military, a Hamas military wing said it launched a rocket attack on Israel in the early hours of Monday targeting a military base in the southern Gaza Strip.
The Gaza-based wing, the Qassam Brigades, said its fighters fired a rocket at the base.
A second rocket was fired toward Israel from the Gaza border.
A third rocket hit southern Israel, the army said.
The air strikes began Monday night, hours after a senior Hamas official was killed in a drone strike.
Israel has launched several attacks on Hamas targets since it began launching airstrikes on the group last year.
The military has said that it wants to protect civilians in the Gaza strip from a rocket barrage launched by Hamas.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri denied the military had struck targets in the area, which is part of the West Bank, where Israel maintains a permanent presence.
Homs spokesman Mohammed Abu Zunay, a commander of the Islamist group, said the strikes were targeting a vehicle that was transporting weapons from Gaza.
He said that a Hamas fighter was killed during the air strikes and that the military would not make any comments about the target or its location.
In 2014, Israel launched more than 1,000 airstrikes on Hamas-run Gaza, targeting rocket launchers, tunnels and other weapons.
Hamas has not responded to the latest airstrikes, which Israel has said were aimed at preventing the group from firing rockets from Gaza into Israeli territory.
In 2016, Israel targeted Hamas military headquarters in Gaza and a military command center.
In March, a cease-fire agreement was brokered by the United States and Israel that ended an eight-week conflict in which more than 200 Palestinians and four Israelis, including a number of Hamas leaders, were killed.
The Gaza Strip has been under a blockade since 2008, and the restrictions have crippled Gaza’s economy.