Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Israel Defense Forces fired on targets in Syria and the Gaza Strip belonging to the Islamic Jihad movement, killing six as both groups exchanged missile attacks.
The IDF said it bombed the sites after more than 20 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza.
The attacks were sparked Sunday when Israeli authorities fired on two Palestinians they said had made multiple attempts to place an explosive charge next to a border fence on the southern Gaza Strip, eventually killing one of them.
The Israeli military said it hit facilities on the outskirts of Damascus that were used as a base of the Islamic Jihad's activities. It said the area was used for the "research and development of armaments."
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Israeli attack near Damascus killed two Palestinians connected with the Islamic Jihad and four others belong with Iranian-backed militias.
The missiles hit positions used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and Islamic Jihad Movement, near the Damascus International Airport. The Syrian Observatory said Syrian air defenses intercepted several other Israeli rockets.
"The IDF will respond to any terror acts of the Islamic Jihad that endanger Israeli civilians and harm its sovereignty," the IDF said in a statement. "The IDF views the rocket attack towards Israeli territory with great severity, is prepared and will continue operating as necessary against attempts to harm Israeli civilians."
Islamic Jihad military spokesman Abu Hamza said that its organization would respond to the Syrian attacks.
"The Zionist aggression on Arab Damascus, and the martyrdom of two of our fighters in it, is an event that must be reviewed and that will not pass fleetingly," Hamza said. "The fight is not over."