Hamas said the Israeli bombing would only encourage Palestinians to “resist the occupation and strengthen their support for Jerusalem and its people”.

Israel carried out airstrikes in central Gaza for the second time this week, with its military saying its fighter jets attacked an underground complex used to produce rocket engines, according to witnesses.

The attack happened just before dawn on Thursday.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Witnesses told Al Jazeera that the attack damaged several houses near one of the targeted sites in the al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza.

Earlier in the night, a rocket fired from Gaza struck southern Israel, causing minor damage to a house but no casualties, Israeli police said. Four rockets were also fired from Gaza but were intercepted by air defenses after the attack on the besieged coastal enclave, the Israeli military said.

No Palestinian faction has claimed responsibility for the rocket launch.

Hamas, the group that governs Gaza, said in a statement that the Israeli bombing would only encourage Palestinians to “resist the occupation and strengthen support for Jerusalem and its people”.

Light streaks visible as Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets fired from Gaza Strip towards Israel [Amir Cohen/ Reuters]

A surge in violence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory following last year’s 11-day Israel-Gaza war in which more than 250 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have sparked fears of a slide back into the wider conflict 13 people and Israel were killed.

In March, Israeli forces killed at least 29 Palestinians in attacks on the West Bank, after 14 Israelis were killed in street attacks.

Israeli riot police also last week raided the Al-Aqsa mosque compound – a place revered by Muslims and Jews – injuring at least 158 ​​Palestinian worshippers.

Tensions this year have been exacerbated in part by the Muslim holy month of Ramadan celebrating Passover with Jews.

Palestinians accuse Israel of violating Al-Aqsa by allowing Jewish believers to enter the Holy Land. They said the move violated a centuries-old policy under which non-Muslims could visit but not pray.

Israeli leaders say they are ensuring freedom of worship for all religions in Jerusalem.

Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam and is also revered by Jews as the site of two ancient temples.

Palestinians want occupied East Jerusalem, including its Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites, to be the capital of a future state.

After Israel occupied the region in the 1967 war, it annexed East Jerusalem in an internationally unrecognized move and regards the whole of Jerusalem as its eternal capital.