Overnight and during the early morning hours, Gaza-based terrorists fired at least 200 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel. "The "Iron Dome" aerial defence system intercepted 11 launches, the majority of the rockets hit open areas", the IAF said on its Twitter account.
On Thursday, the IDF destroyed a five-story building allegedly housing Hamas' internal security service and offices of the group's senior officials.in response to a rocket fired at Beersheba, almost 40km from the border with Gaza.
The BBC has been facing a backlash by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on Thursday morning over a story headline that was interpreted as "anti-Israel" and biased.
Sirens sounded in Israeli areas near Gaza, warning residents to seek immediate shelter, the Israeli army said.
According to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-controlled enclave, Kammash and her daughter were killed in an airstrike in Jafarawi in central Gaza, the ministry said, while her husband was injured. At least eight other civilians in Gaza were also injured, the ministry said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called off a trip to Colombia this week to attend to the Gaza truce talks and was due to convene his decision-making security cabinet on Thursday to discuss the situation.
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Israel and militants in Gaza have exchanged frequent fire in recent months.
A fireball exploding during Israeli air strikes in Gaza City.
Injuries were also reported on both sides.
At least two Israelis were hurt by the rockets, rescue services said.
Several people in Israel have been hurt by the rocket attacks, local media say.
All trains running between the border town of Sderot and the coastal city of Ashkelon were cancelled and the popular Zikim beach was closed.
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The escalation started on late Wednesday, when Palestinians shot at an Israeli army patrol on the Gaza border, only damaging the vehicle.
A senior Israeli army official was quoted by Haaretz as saying that Israel was getting closer to a military campaign in the Gaza Strip. According to reports, it would be the relative of a senior Hamas commander.
Israel responded with airstrikes and shelling of several locations, which led to the killing of the three Palestinians.
US Envoy Jason Greenblatt who has been involved in peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, pointed a finger squarely at Hamas for the escalation of violence.
It stated that the two fighters were part of a military training in "Asqalan" center, one of its training locations in northern Gaza, and that many Palestinians, including political leaders of Hamas, were in attendance.
The UN, he said, has engaged with Egypt in an "unprecedented effort" to avoid serious conflict, but warned that "the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people".
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The gathering had raised hopes a deal for a lasting truce with Israel, with the backing of Egypt and the United Nations.