Four mortar shells were fired at the western Negev communities earlier. They exploded in open areas without causing injuries or damage.
The army said the incident began when terrorists were spotted approaching the border fence in the northern Strip, apparently in an attempt to plant an explosive device. An IDF force fired a tank shell at them, injuring at least one.
An explosive device was activated against an IDF force patrolling the northern Strip in a separate incident. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
Last week it was reported that Egypt had relayed a message to the Hamas leadership in Gaza that the Israeli army might launch a military offensive if the rocket and mortar fire from the Strip continued.
"Egypt told Hamas that the situation in the Strip was very similar to the situation in December 2008," said a source involved in the talks, addressing the tense period before Operation Cast Lead.
He added that "Hamas is not interested in another escalation, unless it is dragged into it."
Elior Levy contributed to this report
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