Hamas said six of its members were killed in airstrikes in the southern town of Rafah, at the Egyptian border, early on Monday, in reference to a smuggling tunnel. It said aircraft also attacked in northern Gaza, killing one Hamas fighter.
The Ma’an News Agency said most of the men, all aged in their 20s, were buried under the rubble of the tunnels and only discovered Monday morning.
The agency also reported that an airstrike on the northern town of Beit Hanoun wounded one child, two teenage girls and two men, according to medics.
The attacks came as fighters from Gaza on Sunday fired about 25 projectiles into Israeli-occupied territory.
Rocket fire from Gaza continued on Monday and one Israeli soldier was wounded, the Israeli army said.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, speaking after the six Hamas men were reported killed, accused Israel of committing a “grave escalation” in violence and threatened to retaliate, saying Israel would “pay the price.”
Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have risen over the killing of three Jewish teenagers in the occupied West Bank, which Israel has blamed on Hamas, and of a 16-year-old Palestinian in East Jerusalem.
Israel on Sunday announced it had arrested six Jewish suspects in the apparent revenge murder of Mohammed Abu Khudair, whose charred body was found in Jerusalem on Wednesday, a day after Naftali Fraenkel and Gil-Ad Shaer, both 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, were buried.
The three Jewish seminary students went missing while hitchhiking on June 12. Hamas has neither confirmed nor denied having any role in their disappearance.