Israel is in its third day of receiving sending and missiles from Gaza, and it also fired at Syria for a second time, scoring "direct hits" on a Syrian Army vehicle, after several rounds of Syrian shells have landed in and around Israeli settlements in the Golan Heights in the past few days, the AP reported.
From Saturday to Monday, Haaretz reported, Southern Israel had taken close to 140 rockets from Gaza. Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak pledged an aggressive response. The violence began when several rockets were fired from Gaza on an IDF jeep, wounding four soldiers.
Israel, in turn, has struck several targets in Gaza, said the New York-based Jewish Telegraph Agency, killing at least six Palestinians and wounding 30 others.
Environment Minister Gilad Erdan told reporters that Hamas was to blame. "Hamas bears responsibility," he told Israeli Army Radio, Reuters said. "The heads of Hamas should pay the price and not sleep at night. I expect to see not just a return to targeted killings, but also to very wide activity by (the army)."
No Israeli casualties have yet been reported, but 20 Israeli civilians were treated for shock.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has stepped in as a possible peace mediator between Israel and Hamas.
On the other end of the country, what started as IDF warning shots fired into Syria actually landed a "direct hit" on "Syrian mobile artillery," an anonymous Israeli military official told the AP.
"We are closely monitoring what is happening and will respond appropriately," Netanyahu said in a speech on Monday. "We will not allow our borders to be violated or our citizens to be fired upon."
Israel has thus far managed to remain removed from the conflict on its eastern border, but Saturday marked the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur war that Israel has returned the fire sent its way from Syria. The prospect of Israeli involvement in Syria could spell further security deterioration in the region, especially if Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon join in the fight, the AP said.