Merkava tank near Gaza
Merkava tank near GazaIDF Spokesman's Unit

Explosions sounded in the northern Gaza Strip as the IDF pounded Hamas positions.

Eight Arabs were killed.

The IDF said: "After an IDF force was fired upon in the course of the violent riots in the southern Gaza Strip, the IDF attacked several terror targets along the Gaza Strip, using aircraft and tanks."

An explosive charge was reportedly deployed against IDF forces along the Gaza border. The IDF suffered no casualties from the blast.

Mortar shells were reportedly fired at Israeli territory from the northern Gaza Strip. The shells apparently exploded in open spaces and did not cause any casualties or damage.

Jewish Home chairman, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, said Friday that a wide-scale ground offensive into Gaza would not be a justified move before all other options were exhausted.

He said that in his estimate, such an operation is still far off, as an option. "The terror fires can be stopped without entering Gaza," said Bennett. "Until then, there is a wide spectrum of possible military economic, civilian and other actions, for restoring security to residents of the South."

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) met residents of the Gaza area town of Sderot Friday morning.

According to Liberman, Hamas leaders are pushing Israel into a situation "in which we will need to begin a wide-scale and debilitating military operation... I think that all the responsibility in such a case rests on the heads of Hamas, but unfortunately the civilian residents of Gaza will have to pay the price."