Rockets Fired From Gaza At Tel Aviv, Explosions Heard: Israeli Military

Nellie Chapman
March 15, 2019

Israel's Defense Forces confirmed on Thursday that two rockets were fired from Gaza toward the center of Israel, triggering rocket sirens in Tel Aviv.

Warplanes could be heard flying overhead in Gaza City, where smoke from the explosions could be seen in the distance.

An Israeli military spokesperson said there had been no advance intelligence warnings of the rocket fire.

Hamas's so-called military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, not only denied it was behind the rocket launchings but said the attacks on Israel came while Hamas members were meeting with Egyptian officials over the Gaza truce.

IDF Home Front Command said in a statement on Galei Tzahal Army Radio Thursday night that "for the time being, residents should maintain their daily routine as usual".

A Hamas official told the The Times of Israel that the terror group "has no interest in an escalation" with Israel.

No injuries were reported from either projectile.

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Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, two smaller Gaza armed factions, also denied responsibility.

The Israeli media reported ahead of the Gaza air strikes that the IDF would deliver a significant response to the rocket fire.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai ordered all public shelters opened in the wake of the attack, as did the mayors of other cities in central Israel.

Tensions have been high for the past year along the Israel-Gaza frontier since Palestinians began violent protests near Israel's border fence that have often drawn a lethal response from the Israeli military.

The Hamas-run Interior Ministry called the rocket fire "outside the national consensus" and said it would exact measures against those behind it. "We will do anything necessary to restore security and quiet to the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip and to the south in general".

Reports suggest that the incident has been taking place as Hamas leaders met with Egyptian delegates about trying to secure a long-term ceasefire with Israel.

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