The Israel Air Force bombed three tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip overnight Saturday, killing at least two Palestinians, in response to a series of terrorist attacks against Israel last week.

One man was wounded and another two Palestinians were reported missing. All five were identified as smugglers working in one of the many tunnels used to ferry goods under the Gaza-Egypt border.

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According to the IDF, one of the tunnels was being dug to enable terrorists to infiltrate into Israel. It said the attacks came in response to mortar and rocket fire from Gaza, as well as the fatal shooting in the West Bank in which four Israelis were killed last Tuesday.

The spike in violence came as Israelis and Palestinians relaunched direct peace negotiations in Washington after a hiatus of nearly two years.

Israel’s response appeared to be delayed to avoid disrupting the talks, which began after months of diplomatic efforts by the US.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said he would do his utmost to prevent further attacks.

“We believe this is dangerous to our people and we will not permit it,” he said.

Fayyad also said he believed that chances for the talks’ success were slim.

“The elements of failure for these negotiations are much more than the elements of success,” he told reporters late Saturday. He did not elaborate.

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