Seven Palestinians, including a local Hamas commander, have been killed during an Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials say.

An Israeli soldier was also killed and another wounded, the Israeli military said, in an ensuing firefight.

Palestinians said an Israeli unit had killed the commander after infiltrating the territory in a civilian vehicle.

Sirens later sounded in communities across southern Israel and rockets were fired from Gaza, without causing harm.

The Israeli military later said 17 rockets had been fired and three were shot down. It was not clear if the rockets had caused any damage.

In the wake of the clashes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short his visit to Paris for events to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One and returned to Israel, his office said.

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