Israeli aircraft struck Palestinian militant targets in the Gaza Strip today in response to rocket and mortar attacks, stoking mounting concerns that a grave new round of hostilities will fill the vacuum left by a negotiations impasse in the Mideast peace effort.
Two years of relative calm have frayed in recent weeks with acts of violence against Israelis - including a deadly bombing in Jerusalem yesterday - and Israeli reprisals against Gaza militants, including a round of shelling that killed four Palestinian civilians.
The violence is the fiercest between the two sides since Israel went to war in Gaza two years ago to try to curb years of frequent rocket attacks on southern Israel.
With no sign that Israeli and Palestinian leaders are narrowing the gaps that have deadlocked negotiations, fears are growing that another grave escalation is imminent.
Early today, Israeli aircraft targeted militant training sites and tunnels beneath the Gaza-Egypt border used to smuggle weapons and other contraband goods into Gaza.
Later in the day, Palestinian police in Gaza said an Israeli airstrike hit an abandoned rocket launcher. The Israeli military had no immediate comment.
No injuries were reported in any of the strikes.