The Israeli military said it deployed tank fire and an airstrike on targets in Gaza after its troops came under attack by Palestinian snipers as they were on patrol on the Israeli side of the border.

It said it "immediately responded" to the Palestinian shooting attack on Wednesday.

The Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza said one of its members has been killed. It did not immediately comment on the sniper fire.

Gaza residents said the sound of explosions and gunfire lasted about half an hour.

Israel and Hamas fought a 50-day war this summer.

Gaza militants fired a rocket at Israel on Friday prompting an Israeli airstrike in retaliation the next day for the first time since that war.