File picture: REUTERS
File picture: REUTERS

Gaza City — Israeli warplanes carried out a fresh round of strikes in the Gaza Strip on Monday after a rocket fired by Palestinians slammed into southern Israel, the army said.

The cross-border exchange followed a weekend escalation in violence seen as among the most serious since Israel and the coastal enclave’s Hamas rulers fought a war in 2014. The Islamist militant group was quick to say that it did not seek further confrontation.

Israeli fighter jets "targeted underground infrastructure in the southern Gaza Strip, in response to the projectile that was launched at Israel earlier", an army statement said.

It did not give further details, but Palestinian security sources said several missiles were fired at farmland east of Rafah.

No casualties were reported on either side.

Monday’s strikes followed fierce exchanges at the weekend after an improvised bomb apparently planted by Palestinian militants exploded on Saturday, injuring four Israeli soldiers inspecting the border.

Israel responded by pounding 18 Hamas facilities in two waves of air strikes on Saturday and Sunday, according to the Israeli military. Israeli ground forces also killed two Palestinian teenagers in cross-border fire.

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said on Monday that his organisation had no wish to see fighting with Israel intensify.