BREAKING NOW: Rockets Fired Towards Tel Aviv, Missiles Intercepted by Israeli Defenses
15 March, 2019, 04:58
The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system was triggered by one of the rockets over the city; the second rocket landed in an open area outside the city. Though the attack caused no damage or injuries, it was a significant escalation and set the stage for a tough Israeli reprisal.
Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahalon said on Twitter that Israel "would respond as necessary" to the rocket attack.
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.
'The Hamas organisation is the main organisation in the [Gaza] Strip.
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 attacks are seen as a retaliation against earlier strikes from Israeli military aircraft, which bombed Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization has denied responsibility for the launch of two Iranian Fajr rockets, both of them aimed at Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, moments after the IDF launched air raid against alleged Hamas targets in Gaza the alarm sirens went off in the southern part of Israel, signalizing possible Palestinian shelling.
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"We are still checking which group did the firing".
Hamas denied involvement, saying the launches took place as its leaders met Egyptian delegates about efforts to secure a long-term ceasefire with Israel. But he said there were no special instructions and encouraged residents to stick to their daily routines.
Local media reports documented explosions in various sections of the Gaza Strip.
According to reports, a number of Israelis were treated for shock.
Israeli soldiers stand near a battery of the Iron Dome defence system, created to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells.
Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai told the television one of the Gaza rockets "apparently fell into the sea, the other hit somewhere but not in Tel Aviv".
The missile launches come less than a month before the April 9 Knesset elections, and two months before Tel Aviv is due to host the Eurovision Song Contest, a major global event that is expected to draw many thousands of tourists from all over Europe.
It was the first such attack on the city since the 2014 Gaza war between Hamas and Israel.
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