Repeated attempts to damage Israeli security infrastructures near the border under cover of the protests Hamas organizes may have also served as backdrop for the strike.
The army's statement said that it "gravely considered continued daily attempts by the Hamas terror group to damage security infrastructures in Israel, while threatening the safety of both soldiers and civilians, and is determined to continuing to defend Israel's citizens."
The army then added its usual refrain, that "Hamas was solely responsible for all goings-on in the Gaza Strip and will face the ramifications of the terroristic activities carried out from Gaza against Israel's citizens and its sovereignty."
The infiltration incident mentioned in the IDF's comment took place earlier Saturday, when four Palestinians crossed the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip and infiltrated Israeli territory, where they lit a Molotov cocktail as part of the "March of Return" protests.
An IDF force that spotted them arrived and fired warning shots. The IDF initially reported that the suspects burned a tire on Israeli land, but later recanted the claim.
Apart from the incendiary bottle, it was reported the suspects left a tent in the field bearing the writing, "March of Return. Returning to the lands of Palestine." It was further communicated the entire incident lasted less than a minute.
Several days ago, Israeli jets attacked a Hamas terror tunnel in the northern strip. Two additional targets belonging to the Gaza-ruling terror group's naval force were also hit.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the strike came in retaliation to an infiltration by Gazans into Israel the previous day, and in light of "continued attempts to fly drones and kites into Israel for the purposes of terrorism and arson."
On Friday, an explosive device was thrown at an IDF force north of the Gaza Strip border, as the weekly protest resumed once more. No one was hurt.
Earlier in the week, the United Nations' Mideast Envoy Nikolay Mladenov commented on the tense situation in the strip's border following last week's riots, which claimed the lives of more than 60 Palestinians.
During a session of the international organization's Security Council, Mladenov said that May 14—the day of the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem and the highest Palestinian single-day death toll since 2014—was a "tragic day in the long history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."
It also served, he said, is another reminder of the need to bring peace to the region. "It was a reminder as to how easily violence in Gaza can flare up, and how much Gaza is on the brink of collapse, with its residents growing ever more desperate," he added.