Almost three hours after four mortar shells were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip, Palestinians reported that three Gazans were killed and four others injured in an IDF strike east of Deir al-Balah in the central Strip.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit reported that members of a cell planning to launch a rocket or mortar shell at Israel were hit and that a precise hit was identified.
"We will not tolerate attacks from terror organizations at the territory of the State of Israel. We will continue to operate with resolve and force against any body operating terror against Israel," the IDF said after the strike.
The Palestinians confirmed that a cell belonging to the Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Brigades was in the area struck by the IDF and that some of its members were hit.
The IDF said one of the Palestinians killed in the strike is Abed Abu Nassil, one of the organization's senior field commanders, who was responsible for a line of terror attempts against IDF soldiers, including planting explosive devices.
Four mortar shells were fired at Israel earlier Sunday, and all of them landed within the Strip.
Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conveyed a message to the Palestinian terror organizations in Gaza, and in particular Hamas.
At the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said he views the rocket and mortar shell attacks from Gaza "with much gravity".
The prime minister said, "Last week, 20 rockets and mortar shells were fired at Israel. The IDF responded immediately and struck weapons factories and tunnels through which Iran smuggles rockets into Israel. The government's policy is clear – any rocket attacks will be responded to harshly".
Sunday morning, two Palestinians were killed in an explosion in the northern Strip. The Palestinians claim the two were hit by IDF artillery fire, but the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said it was unfamiliar with the incident and that there was no strike in the area.
Thursday night, the IDF struck targets in the Gaza Strip, and at least three people were killed in attacks on smuggling tunnels near Rafah.
Reuters news agency reported that one of the casualties was a 14-year-old boy.