Four Israeli soldiers have been wounded by an explosion that occurred near the border fence with the Gaza Strip on Saturday, spurring Israeli air strikes later in the day against Palestinian militant targets.
Among the injured, two soldiers were in critical condition.
No group claimed the responsibility of the blast occurred along the southern frontier of the territory, controlled by the Islamist group Hamas.
“Today’s incident on the Gaza Strip border is severe. We will respond appropriately,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
News agency Reuters reports quoting Israeli media that it was the highest number of Israelis wounded in a single incident since the 2014 Gaza war.
An Israeli army spokesman said the explosive device had been hidden near the fence a day earlier, attached to a flag, during a Palestinian protest along the border.
In response, he said, the military struck six targets in Gaza including a weapons manufacturing site and an underground tunnel for militants being built in the direction of Israel.
Palestinian officials said the Israeli attacks included air strikes against three Hamas training camps and a fourth belonging to a smaller militant group, causing no injuries.