Scores of rockets continued to be launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel on Monday, with at least two projectiles landing in border communities and hitting an Israeli bus, leaving a 19-year-old in critical condition.
Mourners carry the body of Nour Baraka, a commander in the Islamist movement Hamas' military wing and one of the Palestinians killed during an Israeli special forces operation in the Gaza Strip, during his funeral on November 12, 2018, in Khan Younis.
A statement from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, said "Zionist enemy special forces", in a civilian vehicle, reached 3.2km into Gaza, east of the Palestinian town of Khan Younis.
The flare-up came just a day after Israeli special forces infiltrated the Gaza Strip, assassinating a top Hamas commander, while subsequent Israeli airstrikes killed six others, including another commander with the Palestinian resistance movement.
Conricus said the operation, "like many others similar to it", was part of an ongoing effort against "different terrorist organisations".
Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, said the Israeli special forces team had infiltrated near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip in a civilian vehicle.
An Israeli soldier stands near a burning bus after it was hit by a mortar shell fired from Gaza near the Israel Gaza border.
Israel's military said it was carrying out air strikes "throughout the Gaza Strip" in retaliation for the rockets, which came after an Israeli commando was killed in a botched raid in Hamas territory.
He added that the missiles' ability to overwhelm Israel's missile defences and hit houses will be "a bad blow" to Israel, adding that this was "the most serious escalation in fighting between Israel and Hamas since 2014 and in terms of the number of Israelis injured by missiles".
One senior Israeli officer also was killed.
The Israeli army retaliated by launching warplanes that struck targets throughout the Gaza Strip in what appeared to be the most intense exchange of fire since the 2014 war.
It did not provide other details about the operation.
"Terrorists in Gaza are again attacking Israel with tools of war".
Lieutenant-General Gadi Eisenkot, chief of the general staff of the Israel Defence Forces, said the team was involved in a "very meaningful operation for Israel's security".
Israel hasn't consistently determined the perimeter of this access-restricted area along the fence with Gaza, and it has often employed deadly violence to ward off Gaza residents. Reports also said that an Israeli officer was also killed during the ensuing clashes.
The Palestinian funerals were held Monday afternoon.
The Israeli military said it was responding to the attacks with strikes on terror sites throughout Gaza.
Associated Press writer Fares Akram reported in Gaza City and AP writer Josef Federman reported from Jerusalem.
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