JERUSALEM - Palestinian extremists in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets toward Israel yesterday, the army said, and Israeli officials warned they were losing patience as rising tensions threatened a five-month cease-fire.

One rocket landed in the Mediterranean Sea and the second in an open area in southern Israel, the army said. There were no injuries.

"Israel will not be restrained forever," said Miri Eisin, spokeswoman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. "We will defend our citizens and choose the time and place to respond."

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said yesterday that calm had returned to Gaza, and he appealed for Israel to refrain from carrying out raids in the area. "There is nothing there to justify an assault on Gaza," he said.

Olmert on Wednesday ruled out a large-scale invasion of Gaza in response to rockets fired by Hamas earlier this week, giving a chance for the five-month-old truce to hold.

Hamas, a member of the Palestinian coalition government, distanced itself from yesterday's attacks. Extremists linked to Abbas' Fatah movement claimed responsibility, along with the tiny Popular Resistance Committees and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.