Israeli Air Force (IAF) aircraft struck three terrorist targets in southern Gaza on Friday evening, the IDF said in a statement.
The airstrikes came after terrorists from Gaza fired 17 rockets towards southern Israel throughout the day, of which eight were fired in the afternoon hours.
“The IDF is prepared to defend the citizens of Israel from any threat and will continue to act decisively and as long as necessary until quiet is restored,” said the statement, which added that Hamas was directly responsible for the rocket fire.
Of the eight Kassam rockets fired towards Israel during the course of Friday afternoon, two were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system over the city of Ofakim.
Two rockets exploded in open areas near Netivot and there were also explosions in open areas in Kerem Shalom, in the Eshkol Regional Council and the Merhavim Regional Council. One rocket caused minor damage in a kibbutz in the Eshkol region.
The rocket fire came amid reports that Egypt is mediating a potential ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Earlier Friday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu)criticized the possibility of a ceasefire as rocket fire continues.
"These quiet messages we send to Hamas offering a ceasefire are a huge mistake," Liberman said Friday while visiting the city of Sderot. "Answering this [terror] with silence is a serious mistake and we in Yisrael Beytenu reject this approach."
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)