The IDF killed a senior Islamic Jihad member on Friday evening while he was riding his motorcycle in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis.
The man killed in the airstrike was identified by Palestinians as Fadi Abu Mustafa. According to IDF officials, he was involved in planning terror attacks against Israeli targets.
A senior Islamic Jihad member told Ynet that Abu Mustafa was a top member of the al-Quds Brigades, the organization's military wing, in the southern Strip.
Abu Ahmed, the military wing's spokesman, told Ynet that "our response will come soon. Israelis should prepare for additional rockets and suicide bombings."
This was the first targeted killing since the recent escalation in the south. In the past two weeks the IDF struck a number of Qassam launching cells, but Friday evening's strike was considered a targeted killing as Abu Mustafa was wanted by Israel.
Earlier Friday, al-Quds Brigades gunmen fired a Qassam rocket from the northern Gaza Strip toward the western Negev.
The rocket landed in an open area near a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
The al-Quds Brigades said in a statement that the rocket was fired in response to the killing of two Palestinian children earlier in the northern Gaza Strip.
A senior group member told Ynet that "the rocket fire will continue as long as Israel's crimes continue."
Shortly after the rocket was fired, Palestinian security officials reported that Israeli aircraft had attacked two open areas in the northern Gaza Strip where Palestinians fire rockets toward Israel. No injuries were initially reported.
On Friday afternoon, Palestinian sources reported that two 8 and 11-year-old children were killed by an IDF shell near the former settlement of Dugit.
According to military officials, An IDF force shot and killed two 18 or 17-year old Palestinians moving suspiciously near the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip, near Kibbutz Zikim.
The officials added that the two teenagers were crawling in an area Palestinians are banned from entering and ignored the soldiers who called on them to stop.
The troops spotted five Palestinians moving near the fence and called on them to stop. As the Palestinians ignored the call, the soldiers fired at them and killed two. A 16-year-old Palestinian was injured and evacuated to the Barzilay Medical Center in Ashkelon in moderate condition. A fourth Palestinian was arrested by the soldiers and taken in for questioning.
Palestinians organizations said that no cell was operating in the area and that the IDF was claiming that gunmen approached the fence in order to justify shots fired for no real reason.
IDF officials noted, however, that terror organizations and Palestinian groups had distributed false information in the past few weeks claiming the IDF fired and hurt civilians. In a number of incidents, Palestinians also reported that IDF soldiers were killed or injured, but these reported were also proven to be false.
On Friday morning, four Qassam rockets were fired
by Palestinians from northern Gaza. Two of the rockets landed near a Negev kibbutz, causing some damage to the community's garage.
Another rocket landed in a kibbutz south of Ashkelon, hitting a warehouse and causing considerable damage. The fourth rocket did not reach Israel and landed inside the Gaza Strip.
Head of the Sha'ar Hanagev local council, Alon Shuster, told Ynet that the kibbutzim in the region were trying to maintain their routine life, despite the ongoing attacks.
"We are trying to keep the routine in schools, inside fortified classrooms; so far, 27 percent of the students showed up, and we certainly understand the parents who are afraid to send their children," he said.
Hanan Greenberg and Shmulik Hadad contributed to the report