Rockets fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv

Rockets fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv

Rockets fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv

Israeli war planes launched a series of airstrikes early Friday, hitting back at targets across the Gaza Strip hours after two rockets were fired at Tel Aviv for the first time since the 2014 war.

In Gaza, both rulers Hamas and Islamic Jihad, an allied group, issued statements denying any responsibility for the attack, which came just over three weeks ahead of Israel's April 9 election.

Despite the apparent activation of Israel's Iron Dome air defence system, the military said no rockets were shot down nor landed in any built-up areas.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties or damage.

After air raid sirens howled throughout Tel Aviv and surrounding towns, Reuters journalists heard several explosions in Israel's coastal conurbation.

Alarms were also reportedly triggered in Holon and other cities in central Israel.

The attacks are seen as a retaliation against earlier strikes from Israeli military aircraft, which bombed Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli analysts speculated that Palestinian militants opposed to any deal between Hamas and Israel were behind the launchings.

Air Raid Warning Sirens Go Off In Tel Aviv After Apparent Gaza Rocket Attack

Israel Radio said the site was a base belonging to Hamas naval commandos.

A Hamas official told the The Times of Israel that the terror group "has no interest in an escalation" with Israel. "It's time to defeat Hamas, it's time to demilitarize the Gaza Strip", he said.

It was not immediately clear which terror faction was responsible for the rocket fire toward Tel Aviv.

Political observers raised concerns that the rockets fired from Gaza may be used as a pretext for Israel to launch a military assault on the besieged Palestinian territory. But he said there were no special instructions and encouraged residents to stick to their daily routines.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai urged the public to remain calm, but added that public bomb shelters would be opened shortly.

Among those participating were Chief-of-Staff Lt. -Gen Aviv Kochavi, National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) head Nadav Argaman, and other senior security establishment officials.

"I suggest to Hamas, don't count on it", he told his Cabinet.

It was the first such attack on the city since the 2014 Gaza war between Hamas and Israel. "We will do anything necessary to restore security and quiet to the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and to the south in general".

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