Hamas said on Sunday night that six of its members were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza, and its spokesman threatened to make Israel pay.
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) confirmed it had launched airstrikes against nine terror targets in Gaza, including concealed rocket launchers and terrorist centers in central Gaza.
Witnesses told AFP that the Hamas members were killed when a tunnel collapsed on them following the Israeli strike.
Gaza health services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told the news agency that two Palestinian Arabs were killed and two others wounded in the attack east of Rafiah, but could not confirm Hamas’s statement that its members were killed.
Nevertheless, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri took to Facebook to threaten Israel over the deaths.
"This is a serious escalation and the enemy will pay the price," he wrote.
The airstrikes that killed the Hamas members came several hours after an Israeli airstrike killed two terrorists from the Islamic Jihad group.
The two were identified by the Ma’an news agency as Mazen al-Hadba and Marwan Salim.
The airstrikes are an Israeli response to the endless rocket fire from Gaza. The Home Front Command and IDF announced earlier on Sunday that a total of 110 rockets have hit Israel over the past five days.
Another 40 rockets were fired from Gaza on Sunday, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
Deputy Education Minister Avi Wortzman (Jewish Home) dismissed the notion that “restraint is power” and called on Israel to issue a harsh response to the rocket fire.
"One million citizens have become hostages of Hamas and the government responds weakly. What is happening here is unacceptable. Hamas must understand that it will not pay off for it to continue firing rockets,” he told Arutz Sheva on Sunday.
"The role of the state is to protect its citizens and at the moment it is doing so feebly,” he continued. “People are not willing to accept this reality. Our children’s routines are interrupted, they live in fear. Children are not our soldiers.”
"They say that restraint is power. That’s not true,” said Wortzman. "Restraint is a scandal and a disregard for citizens. It's that simple.”