Rockets Fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv, Explosions Heard
Rockets Fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv, Explosions Heard
Iron Dome missiles intercept rockets from Gaza seen in the sky in Southern Israel Nov. 12 2018
15 March, 2019, 03:00
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting at the Kiriya in Tel Aviv just after the attack to discuss Israel's response.
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A Hamas official told the The Times of Israel that the terror group "has no interest in an escalation" with Israel.
Israeli analysts speculated that Palestinian militants opposed to any deal between Hamas and Israel were behind the launchings.
Israeli news media reported on rocket sirens blasting across Tel Aviv as well as the satellite cities of Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Bat Yam, Holon, Azor and Rishon Letzion. Five people were treated for shock by paramedics.
This marked the first rocket attack on Tel Aviv since the summer of 2014, during Operation Protective Edge, when the city was targeted repeatedly by Palestinian terror groups in Gaza.
Israeli airplanes were heard flying over Gaza Strip and residents braced for reprisal airstrikes after two rockets were fired into Israeli territory.
Two sirens blared as loud explosions boomed in Tel Aviv, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, the Israeli army's chief spokesman, said officials had no prior warning of the attack and were trying to determine who fired the rockets. "The time has come to defeat Hamas once and for all", he said.
TV footage showed what looked like Israeli interceptor missiles streaking into the sky above Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial capital, and detonating.
Earlier on Thursday, Hamas security forces in Gaza violently dispersed hundreds of Palestinians protesting against dire living conditions.
The Hamas-run Interior Ministry called the rocket fire "outside the national consensus" and said it would exact measures against those behind it.
Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, two smaller Gaza armed factions, also denied responsibility.
Israel's municipality announced that public bomb shelters in the Tel Aviv area would be opened.
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