IDF aircraft and tanks attacked Hamas military targets and infrastructure in the southern Gaza Strip in response to arson balloons launched from the coastal enclave into Israeli soil, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit reported on Tuesday.
"The attack was carried out in response to the launch of explosive and incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory during the day," read a statement. "The IDF conducts an ongoing situation assessment and acts firmly and decisively against any attempt at terrorist activity against the citizens of the State of Israel and the violation of its sovereignty."
This was the IDF's twelfth attack in Gaza in the last 13 days.
Monday evening, officials in the Gaza Strip declared a full lockdown for the first time after the Hamas-run Health Ministry announced the first cases of community spread of coronavirus.
Until now, the cases reported in Gaza were linked to quarantine facilities for residents returning from abroad.
The Strip's Health Ministry said that four people from the same family have tested positive for the virus in central Gaza and investigations were underway to track the source of the infection. A full lockdown was imposed on the al-Maghazi refugee camp, where the family lives.
The Hamas-run government announced 48-hour curfew in the entire territory, closing businesses, schools, mosques and cafes.
Hamas has also asked the World Health Organization on Tuesday for assistance and the transfer of medical equipment to the Gaza Strip due to the uptick in confirmed coronavirus infections.
The organization asked the Palestinian Authority to take responsibility for the residents of Gaza.
Qatari envoy to Gaza, Mohammed al-Emadi, is expected to arrive in the Strip Tuesday evening despite the curfew.
Emadi will first arrive in Israel and is expected to meet with senior members of the defense establishment, after which he will cross to the Gaza Strip through the Erez border crossing.
Emadi's visit comes as cross-border tensions between Israel and Gaza terrorist factions were on the rise.
Islamic Jihad reported on Tuesday that four of its activists were killed in an explosion that took place on Monday at the organization's facility in Sajaiya, in eastern Gaza City. The blast is estimated to have been a result of an accident.
The National Fire and Rescue Services reported that 36 fires broke out on Monday near the border with the Gaza Strip due to incendiary balloons launched by Gaza militants and 28 on Sunday.