Hamas' military wing reported that seven of its men were killed in Israel Air Force attacks in the Gaza Strip overnight Sunday.
Hours later, rocket fire at southern Israel continued - one rocket fell in an open area and another hit a community in the Eshkol Regional Council, wounding one soldier lightly. He was taken to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba with shrapnel injuries to his legs and back. Damage was also caused to a vehicle.
Also on Monday morning, an anti-tank RPG was fired at an IDF force on operational duty near the Gaza border fence near kibbutz Re'im. The troops returned fired. No one was hurt and no damage was caused in the incident.
Six members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades were killed in a tunnel in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. It remained unclear whether the tunnel was a smuggling tunnel or one dug to commit an attack against Israel. A seventh operative was killed elsewhere.
Defense officials clarified it was possible the Palestinians who were killed in the tunnel were not hit as a direct result of the IAF attacks. They estimated that the six Hamas terrorists were killed from the collapse of a terror tunnel Palestinians claim the IAF attacked on Saturday. These officials said they believe the Hamas operatives sought to fix the tunnel and it collapsed on top of them.
Another estimation was that the Hamas terrorists were killed in a "work accident" while using the tunnel to plant explosives. According to intelligence, Hamas has dug several terror targets in this area that are meant to allow its terrorists to get past the fence and plant explosives to target IDF patrols and troops doing routine work on the border fence.
The IDF spokesman said 14 terror targets were attacked, five of them in the northern Strip, among them concealed rocket launchers.
Earlier, the IAF killed two other terrorists that Palestinians say belong to the Islamic Jihad's military wing. The IDF said the terror cell was about to launch rockets at Israel.
Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, posted a threatening message overnight on his Facebook page: "This is a grave escalation and the enemy will pay a tremendous price."
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said the rocket attacks are "unbearable and unacceptable."
"We will continue to act in order to debilitate and incapacitate the Hamas terror infrastructure striking its warehouses, rocket manufacturing capabilities and those that endanger the well-being of the Israelis in the south of the country," he said.
Meanwhile, rocket fire towards southern Israel continued overnight and on Monday morning. The Code Red rocket alert siren was sounded in Sderot and the Sha'ar HaNegev and Sdot Negev Regional Councils overnight, and in the Eshkol Regional Council in the morning.
Two rockets hit open areas in Sderot and another in an open area in Sha'ar HaNegev. No one was hurt and no damage was caused in any of these attacks.
While rocket fire at the south continued, several mortar shells fell near the Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights. The IDF responded by firing mortar shells back towards areas which the rocket launchers are suspected to have operated from. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.
The Code Red siren continued disrupting the peace for residents living near the Gaza border in recent days. On Sunday night, 17 rockets were fired at regional councils and two rockets exploded in open areas near Sderot. An IDF force fired mortar shells towards areas rocket launchers are believed to have operated from, in the Rafah area in the southern Gaza Strip.
Earlier Sunday, nine rockets hit the Eshkol, Sha'ar HaNegev and Hof Ashkelon regional councils, but no injuries or damages were caused.
The Associated Press, Matan Tzuri, Yoav Zitun, Elior Levy and Ron Ben-Yishai contributed to this report.