The Israeli army has said at least two rockets were fired towards Israel, triggering rocket sirens in the Tel Aviv area on Thursday.

The Israeli military said its Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted one of the rockets, while another landed in an open area, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

Israeli television reported explosions and sirens being heard. An Israeli military spokesman said the incident was under investigation.

Israel’s Channel 10 news, citing anonymous military officials, said the rockets were Iranian-made Fajr rockets, and that there were no reports of injuries.

In Gaza, there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from West Jerusalem, said the Israeli army confirmed it detected two rockets from Gaza.

“The leadership of Hamas has gone underground, expecting an Israeli retaliation anytime soon,” Fawcett said, adding that some sort of retaliation is “absolutely inevitable”.




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“[Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already at the defense ministry in Tel Aviv to chair an emergency meeting with senior military figures to map out a response,” Fawcett said. 

Sirens were last activated in Tel Aviv two years ago, but it had been a false alarm.

Tel Aviv has not been attacked by rocket or missile fire since 2014, when the Israeli army launched an assault on the besieged Gaza Strip, which is administrated by Hamas.

Cross-border violence has increased in recent days with Israel’s military saying it carried out air raids on a compound belonging to Hamas after explosives attached to balloons were launched from the coastal enclave towards Israel.

Last week, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man and wounded more than 40 as thousands protested near the Gaza Strip’s perimeter fence.

Palestinians have staged weekly protests near the border with Israel as part of the Great March of Return protests.

According to the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, 267 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip since March 30 last year.

Most of the Palestinians killed during the demonstrations were shot in weekly clashes, but some have been hit by Israeli tank fire or air raids.

Israel has accused Hamas of using the demonstrations as cover for infiltrations and attacks, but rights groups and Palestinians say the protesters have posed little threat.

Thursday’s incident comes weeks before Israel prepares to hold parliamentary elections on April 9.


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies





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