Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said Israel may wage a full-scale military campaign in the Gaza Strip aimed at destroying Hamas' military and institutional infrastructure if the latter continued to "undermine" security along the border with Israel, Israeli radio reported.
Steinitz's remarks came after the army announced that one of its patrols on the border with the blockaded strip had come under "sniper fire" leaving one soldier injured.
The Israeli army then struck eastern Gaza with artillery and airstrikes, killing a member of the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing.
Steinitz was quoted by the Israeli broadcaster as saying that Israeli would not tolerate any deterioration in security on the border with Gaza.
Meanwhile, Army Chief-of-Staff Benny Gantz said the military had "no intention to allow events [attacks] such as this to occur unanswered."
Gantz was quoted by the Ynet news website as saying that the army had "responded appropriately and we will act in the appropriate and powerful manner as any incident demands."
Mourners carried the body of the victim and toured the streets of the southern Gaza Strip's city of Khan Younis until they reached the grave site.
Many carried Palestinian flags and flags of Hamas, calling on Palestinian resistance groups to avenge the man's death.
The Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades said earlier in the day that one of its fighters in the southern Gaza Strip had been killed by Israeli artillery.
In a brief statement, the Brigades said that Tayseer al-Sameeri had been killed in the town of Al-Qararah east of Khan Younis.
Medical sources told The Anadolu Agency that al-Sameeri had been killed by Israeli artillery that had targeted farmland in the area.
According to eyewitnesses, Israeli troops had fired into farmland in the Gaza Strip with machineguns and artillery.
The Israeli army said the artillery fire had come in response to an attack on army personnel patrolling the border.
Earlier Wednesday, army spokesman Peter Lerner said that Israeli army troops patrolling the border with the blockaded strip had come under "sniper fire."
On July 7, Israel began a devastating, weeks-long military onslaught on the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of halting rocket fire from the coastal enclave.
By the time the offensive ended on August 26 – 51 days later – more than 2,160 Gazans had been killed, mostly civilians, and 11,000 injured.
At least 73 Israelis – 68 soldiers and five civilians – were also killed during this summer's conflict.