Israeli Apache helicopters launched airstrikes on Gaza City, the central Gaza town of Deir el-Ballah and the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis at midnight on Thursday, no casualties were reported, witnesses and security sources said.
The witnesses said that they saw the red lightening of the missiles fired from the helicopters at different targets in the Gaza Strip.
Explosions were heard, flames and black smokes came out of the targeted buildings after the airstrikes, said the witnesses, adding that ambulances and firefighters arrived at the scene shortly afterwards.
Dozens of people rushed to the targeted areas to look for survivors.
The Israeli airstrikes came apparently in retaliation for the killing of an Israeli woman when a homemade rocket fired by Palestinian militants landed in the collective farm of Nativ Ha'asara near the border with the northern Gaza Strip earlier in the day.
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of the ruling Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it avenged the assassination of a militant leader of the group earlier Thursday in an Israeli army raid on the West Bank city of Nablus.
Israeli forces launched counterattack on Palestinian militants after a suicide bomber from the Islamic Jihad killed five Israelis in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya on Tuesday.
The resurgence of violence between Israel and the Palestinians is threatening a truce declared at a Palestinian-Israeli summit on Feb.8 in Egypt.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas won pledge from 13 different Palestinian factions including militant groups Hamas and the Islamic Jihad to abide by the truce in March.
Both Israel and the militant groups accused each other of violating the calmness that has dominated the Palestinian territories in the past five months.