IDF Pounds Gaza in Response to Recent Attack Toward Tel Aviv

Iron Dome missiles intercept rockets from Gaza seen in the sky in Southern Israel Nov. 12 2018

Iron Dome missiles intercept rockets from Gaza seen in the sky in Southern Israel Nov. 12 2018

Thursday's rocket strikes were the first on the Tel Aviv area since the end of the 2014 war in Gaza.

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

Israeli airplanes were heard flying over Gaza Strip and residents braced for reprisal airstrikes after two rockets were fired into Israeli territory.

A senior Israeli official told Channel 13 news that Israel indeed did not believe Hamas was behind the attack, but rather another "organization attempting to sabotage efforts to achieve calm in recent days".

There were no reports of damage or casualties, the Israeli army said, and no group in Gaza immediately claimed the attack. The Iran-backed Al-Sabareen terrorist group in Gaza has yet to release an official statement following the rocket attacks.

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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The Hamas-run Interior Ministry called the rocket fire "outside the national consensus" and said it would exact measures against those behind it.

The attack prompted several municipalities in central Israel to open their public bomb shelters. Late Thursday, local media said that Egyptian mediators left the territory. Islamic Jihad quickly denied responsibility, says Slier.

Earlier this week, Netanyahu issued a warning to Hamas, rejecting suggestions that Israel would be reluctant to take tough action in Gaza ahead of national elections next month.

"Hamas and other terror [organizations] in Gaza continue to fail their people day after day & drag Gaza further & further down by constantly choosing violence".

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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