Israel responds to rocket attacks launched from Gaza at Tel Aviv and other cities with air strikes

Reacting to missiles launched at Tel Aviv — for the first time since 2014 — and other cities, the IDF struck more than 100 targets in Gaza


Israel launched strikes against key military targets in Gaza early on Friday morning in response to rockets fired from the territory on Thursday night, including the first long range missiles fired at Tel Aviv since 2014.

The IDF subsequently said that there was “a growing assumption that that the Hamas rocket fire towards the Gush Dan region [around Tel Aviv] was by mistake” — although other rockets were fired at shorter range targets, including Ashkelon and Sderot.

Initial reports suggested the Tel Aviv rocket attacks may have been carried out by Islamic Jihad cells within Gaza rather than the ruling Hamas regime, but the IDF later confirmed that the attack had been launched by Hamas.

Red alert sirens sounded in Israel’s largest city and municipal bomb shelters were opened.

The IDF said the Iron Dome defence system was not deployed in response to the two rockets fired at Tel Aviv, which both landed in open spaces.

Video footage shared widely on social media on Thursday night that showed Iron Dome rocket interceptions above Tel Aviv is believed to date back to 2014.

Residents of the city responded with both humour and resignation to the attacks.

Six of the shorter range missiles are believed to have been intercepted by Israel’s missile defence shield, with two more landing in open spaces and one further missile falling short and landing in Gaza.

There were no reports of Israelis killed or injured in the attacks, although a number of civilians were treated for shock.

More than 100 targets in the Gaza Strip were struck by Israel in response, including military compounds and naval sites, as well as what is believed to have been a factory producing rockets.

Gaza’s Health Ministry, which is run by Hamas, said there were no casualties but had been a number of injuries.

An Egyptian negotiating team which had been in Gaza attempting to negotiate a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel left the strip after a request from Israel.

The rocket fire came after an unsettling day for the Hamas regime in Gaza, which opened fire on a protest of thousands of people inside the strip against its continued rule, according to a report from Ofir Gendleman, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Arab news spokesperson.


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