GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli air and ground forces launched a series of attacks Tuesday on targets across the Gaza Strip, killing a young girl and wounding 10 in response to the deadly shooting of an Israeli civilian by a Palestinian sniper.
It was the heaviest burst of violence in the volatile area since November 2012, when Israel and Hamas' rulers engaged in eight days of heavy fighting. The sudden flare-up threatened a cease-fire that halted that fighting and which largely has held up for the past 13 months.
"I recommend to Hamas not to test our patience," said Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon. "If there isn't quiet in Israel, there won't be quiet in the Gaza Strip."
The Israeli military said aircraft, tanks, and infantry targeted "terror sites" in Gaza, including a weapons-manufacturing facility, "terror infrastructure," and a concealed rocket launcher. "Direct hits were confirmed," it said.
Palestinian officials reported at least 16 Israeli attacks, causing a series of loud explosions across the territory in rapid succession.
Hamas Health Ministry official Ashraf al-Kidra said an airstrike in central Gaza killed a 3-year-old girl and wounded three relatives, including two young siblings. In all, 10 people were wounded, he said.
Israel launched the air strike shortly after a Gaza sniper shot an Israeli civilian laborer as he performed maintenance work on the border fence. The man was airlifted to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.