JERUSALEM — Israel carried out "wide-scale" airstrikes and deployed tanks against Hamas military targets along the Gaza Strip on Friday, killing at least three Palestinians, officials said.
The strikes took place after Israel Defense Forces soldiers came under fire in a "severe shooting attack" Friday afternoon, the Israeli military said. It did not specify the condition of the soldiers.
"Hamas chose to escalate the security situation — and will bear the consequences for its actions," the IDF said in a statement.
The Palestinian Health Ministry told NBC News that three Palestinians had been killed by Israeli tanks.
Weekly clashes at the Israel-Gaza border have kept tensions high for months. More than 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the protests started on March 30.
Israel has said it is defending its sovereign border. The nation accuses Hamas of using the protests to disguise attempts to break through the border fence to attack Israeli soldiers and civilians.
Lawahez Jabari reported from Jerusalem, Daniel Arkin reported from New York.