The Islamic Palestinian group Hamas has carried out its first cross-border rocket attacks against Israel in more than one year.
A Hamas spokesman said on Tuesday that Israel had prompted the group to take a firm stance and launch rockets.
Israel conducted 4 air raids on the Gaza Strip on Monday and Tuesday, killing 6 Palestinians including 4 militants.
Israel says the purpose of the raids was to prevent militant Palestinian attacks. Israeli officials say at least 40 rockets were launched into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.
Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June, 2007 from forces of Fatah led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas had observed an unofficial cease-fire with Israel for more than a year despite continued rocket launches by other militant groups.
The new attack by Hamas came after a candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood declared victory in Sunday’s presidential election in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood is Hamas’ parent organization.
On Monday, 2 gunmen infiltrated Israel from Egypt’s Sinai desert, killing a worker building a border fence to prevent such attacks. The gunmen were later shot and killed by Israeli forces.