July 20 (UPI) -- Israel Defense Forces launched its latest wave of airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Friday, leaving four Palestinians dead.
Military officials said the strikes were in response to gunfire exchanged between Hamas militants and Israeli troops earlier in the day. An Israeli Cabinet members said Hamas has failed to listen to Israeli warnings against violence at the Gaza border.
"The IDF views today's attack and the hostile activity orchestrated by Hamas throughout the last months with great severity. Hamas chose to deteriorate the security situation and will bear the responsibility for its actions," the IDF said in a statement.
The military said IDF aircraft and tanks targeted eight Hamas military posts in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas' armed faction, Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said the four dead were among its organization.
In response, Hamas fired three rockets into Israel, two of which the military's Iron Dome intercepted, the IDF said. A third fell into an empty field in Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Haaretz reported there were no injuries or damage from the Palestinian rockets.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on the international community to intervene in Israel's bombing of the Strip. He said he has reached out to regional and international partners for assistance, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Netanyahu convened a security meeting in Tel Aviv with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and other top military officials.
Earlier this week, the prime minister warned of a "prolonged struggle" with Palestinians if they didn't hit violence at the border, including incendiary kites and balloons being sent over the border.
Friday's airstrikes came as Palestinians continued their Great March of Return protests along the border. The weekly protests since March call for the return of refugees to their homes and lands from which they were displaced in 1948.