JERUSALEM, May 6 (UPI) -- Israeli airstrikes hit inside the southern Gaza Strip after Hamas fired mortars at Israeli troops on Friday in the most intense fighting since the 2014 war between the two sides.
The latest skirmish started when Israel destroyed offensive tunnels dug by Hamas.
Over the past three days, Israel says that Hamas has launched 12 mortar rounds against its forces operating along the perimeter fence, including three mortars early Friday. Then, the Israeli air force's F-16 jets struck targets in the southern Gaza Strip.
On Thursday, Israeli defense forces killed a 54-year-old Palestinian woman and injured three, the only reported casualty in the latest fighting.
An Israeli miltary spokesman said that, "The IDF considers terrorist activities a violation of the State of Israel, and considers Hamas a terrorist organization solely responsible for these terrorist acts."
Israel and Hamas have said they want to maintain the truce that ended 50 days of war in the summer of 2014.
But Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Friday they will fight Israel's entry into the Gaza Strip. In response, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said they won't be deterred by Hamas threats and will continue to search for tunnels. The Israel military says the tunnels were newly dug for assault.
Hamas military said two tunnels found the past three weeks were old excavations used during the 2014 war.