Israel Air Force warplanes struck Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip on Monday afternoon, shortly after more than a dozen rockets were fired at southern Israel in a half-hour period.
The jets targeted a military compound in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis that was used for training and storing weapons, as well as an underground facility in al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Strip.
The IDF said that it would "respond fiercely to Islamic Jihad terrorist activity that targets Israeli civilians and harms its sovereignty. The IDF is at a high level of alert and will continue to act as necessary against any attempts to harm the citizens of Israel."
The Monday rocket barrage came just hours after Israeli warplanes on Sunday night struck Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza and Syria, reportedly killing six people. Islamic Jihad threatened retaliation.
Six rockets were fired in the first wave that began at around noon Monday, the second consecutive day of attacks. The Iron Dome air defense system intercepted five rockets over Sderot and Kibbutz Nir Am.
Less than half an hour later, sirens sounded in Netiv Ha'Asara and Hof Ashkelon regional council, and a second wave of eight rockets was fired from Gaza. Two of the rockets hit a children's playground and the yard of a home in Sderot.
Soon after, Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon said is moving its neonatal unit to a secure area out of the reach of rocket fire.
There were no injuries reported, but at least one person was treated for shock in Sderot.
The Prime Minister's Office said that Benjamin Netanyahu was conducting a security consultation by phone with defense officials following the rocket attacks. It said that Netanyahu also spoke with the mayors of Sderot and Ashkelon to update them on the situation.
Netanyahu also threatened Gaza's Hamas rulers with a "war" on Monday afternoon if the new round of rocket fire continued, ramping up his rhetoric amid the final stretch of his campaign ahead of the March 2 elections.
Speaking to Army Radio, Netanyahu said he'd conveyed a message to Hamas that if it did not stop Gaza militants behind the attacks, Israel would target Hamas directly.
"If you don't shoot them, we will shoot you. I'm talking about a war," he said. "I only go to war as a last option but we have prepared something you can't even imagine."
Netanyahu's interview was interrupted with news of fresh air raid sirens warning of incoming rockets, as Palestinian militant fire resumed midday after a morning lull.
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett warned earlier Monday that Israel was on the cusp of action "to fundamentally change the situation in the Gaza Strip," the Times of Israel reported.
“We are preparing a plan to fundamentally change the situation in the Gaza Strip,” Bennett told a conference in Jerusalem.
“I really understand the situation of the people of the south," Bennett said. "They deserve peace and security.”