Three Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire on the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday night, the coastal enclave's health ministry reported.
The three were identified as Muhammad Abu Namus, 23; Mahmoud al-Walida, 22 and Muhammad Taramsi, 21.
The Israel Defense Forces said Saturday night that a helicopter and tank fired at armed Palestinians on the border.
Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad slammed Israel after news broke that the three Palestinian were killed.
The Islamic Jihad said in a statement that "Israel carries the responsibility for its crimes against the Palestinian people," while Hamas blames the Jewish state for using excessive force. "The rage and stress that the Palestinian people live in is going to blow up in Israel's face if the blockade over the Gaza Strip is not removed," the group controlling the Strip said in a statement it issued.
The strikes came after three rockets were launched at Israel from the coastal enclave earlier Saturday evening; two were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the Israeli army said. No injuries were reported.
On Friday, the Israel Defense Forces announced that a rocket had been launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip and was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
- Gaza escalation: Israeli military fires at armed Palestinian group near border
- Israel strikes two Hamas targets after rocket launched from Gaza
- Israel's military chief is preparing the next war
In retaliation, the Israel Air Force struck Hamas targets in the north and south of the Strip overnight. The Israeli army said that Israeli fighter jets attacked "two Hamas underground terrorist infrastructures."