Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli defense minister, said he would meet in Tel Aviv on Tuesday with the military chief of staff and other security chiefs to assess the situation.
The United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay E. Mladenov, condemned the barrage of fire out of Gaza. “Such attacks are unacceptable and undermine the serious efforts by the international community to improve the situation in Gaza,” he said in a statement. “All parties must exercise restraint, avoid escalation and prevent incidents that jeopardize the lives of Palestinians and Israelis.”
The European Union ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, wrote on Twitter, “I know the resilience of communities in southern Israel but indiscriminate attacks are totally unacceptable and to be condemned unreservedly.”
On Sunday, the Israeli military shelled an Islamic Jihad observation post in southern Gaza, killing three members of the group, in what the military said was a response to an explosive being planted the night before along the security fence dividing Gaza from Israel. The bomb, hidden in a pair of wire cutters, exploded as sappers neutralized it remotely. There were no injuries on the Israeli side.
Islamic Jihad vowed to respond. Israeli commentators said on Tuesday that the group was unlikely to have been able to respond on the scale of that morning’s barrage without the approval of Hamas.
As many as 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 30, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, mostly by snipers during the protests and half of them in a single day, May 14, the peak of the campaign.