'The Israeli military has launched airstrikes at Gaza, it said on Monday, hours after a rocket attack injured seven Israelis.
Witnesses in the besieged enclave reported hearing explosions following the statement from the army.
It came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US President Donald Trump at the White House.
At a joint press conference, Mr Netanyahu described the rocket attack as “criminal” and said: ”Israel will not tolerate this. I will not tolerate it.”
“As we speak,” he added, “Israel is responding forcefully to this wanton aggression.”
He also said Israel will do “whatever we must do” to defend itself.
Shortly after Mr Netanyahu’s statement, the US president signed a declaration recognising Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Mr Netanyahu responded: “Mr. President, Israel has never had a better friend than you.”
Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, has declared it will respond if Israel retaliates too forcefully to the earlier overnight rocket strike.
The group’s leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a written statement that the Palestinian people “will not surrender” and its militant factions “will deter the enemy if it exceeds the red lines.”
Hamas’ leaders went into hiding, police and security installations were evacuated and hospitals in Gaza were on alert in anticipation of the Israeli airstrikes.
The rocket attack on Monday morning was the second launched towards central Israel in recent weeks.
It destroyed a residential home in the agricultural town of Mishmeret, over 80km north of Gaza.
The injured included a six-month-old baby, children aged two and three, and a 12-year-old girl.
Military spokesman Major Mika Lifshitz said the army had concluded that Hamas fired the rocket from one of their launching pads in the southern part of the coastal strip, near Rafah.'
Read more: Israel launches airstrikes on Gaza after rocket attack
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