Gaza rockets targeted Tel Aviv, says IDF

Air Raid Warning Sirens Go Off In Tel Aviv After Apparent Gaza Rocket Attack

Israeli military aircraft bombed Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip on Friday, hours after two rockets were launched from the Palestinian enclave at Tel Aviv in the first such attack since a 2014 war. In addition, an underground compound to produce rockets was destroyed, several military compounds were attacked as well as a Hamas naval post which is also used to manufacture weapons, the IDF spokesperson reported. Gaza Health Ministry officials said a couple was injured when their house in the southern town of Rafah was damaged.

Footage captured the moment Israel shot down rockets over Tel Aviv reportedly fired from Palestinian territory.

The military said neither rocket was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome military defense system, though warning systems had operated as required.

Benny Gantz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's toughest rival in Israel's upcoming parliamentary election, dismissed as "political gossip" on Friday media reports.

Smaller Salafi groups inspired by the Islamic State group also operate in Gaza, though it is unclear whether they have powerful rockets capable of striking so deep inside Israel.

Air raid sirens wailed late Thursday throughout Tel Aviv, Israel's densely populated commercial capital, after an apparent rocket attack from the Gaza Strip.

The sudden outbreak of violence comes at a sensitive time for both sides, and it appeared that Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers had incentives to end the fighting.

Hamdi, 22, who works in a bakery in Gaza, said "since the morning very few people have come compared to normal Friday mornings".

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The Palestinian decision to delay Friday's protests, known as the Great March of Return, was taken by the National Committee for the March of Return, a group consisting of several Gaza-based Palestinian factions.

The Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas militant group that runs Gaza, has said it was not responsible.

Netanyahu warned Hamas on Sunday that Israel would not hesitate to launch a "large-scale operation" in Gaza if provoked.

"Fighter planes, combat helicopters and (other) aircrafts attacked some 100 terrorist targets of the Hamas terrorist organization throughout the Gaza Strip".

The attacks occurred two weeks before the anniversary of the Gaza border protests, which began last 30 March, in which thousands have demonstrated weekly against Israel's occupation.

Gaza residents reported a number of rockets being fired back at Israel in response. Israeli analysts speculated that Palestinian militants opposed to any deal between Hamas and Israel were behind the launchings.

Naftali Bennett, a member of Netanyahu's security cabinet who is vying with him for rightist-votes in the looming ballot, issued a statement demanding the assassination of Hamas chiefs.

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