Two rockets fired from Gaza towards central Israel: Israeli army

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

Sirens were triggered Thursday evening in central Israel, as two rockets from Gaza were fired at the heart of the country for the first time since a major conflict in 2014, signaling a possible dramatic escalation of violence by terror groups in the Strip just weeks before the Knesset elections.

The Israeli military said Friday it had begun airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in response to a rocket attack on Tel Aviv - which was the first time the city, some 50 miles north of Gaza, was targeted by rocket fire since a 2014 war against Gaza militants.

Shortly after the strikes started, warning sirens blared throughout the Eshkol Regional Council bordering the Gaza Strip.

This is a breaking news story and is constantly being updated.

A statement by the Hamas armed wing said it was "not responsible" for the firing of the rockets tonight toward the enemy. Though the attack caused no damage or injuries, it was a significant escalation and set the stage for a tough Israeli reprisal.

The Israeli foreign ministry posted a video of what it said was Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system shooting down one of the incoming rockets "over the Tel Aviv area".

IDF Home Front Command said in a statement on Galei Tzahal Army Radio Thursday night that "for the time being, residents should maintain their daily routine as usual".

Smaller factions inspired by the Islamic State group also sometimes fire rockets, though it is unclear whether they possess projectiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv.

The Israeli military is reporting air-raid sirens in southern Israel, signaling new rocket fire out of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli warplanes could be heard roaring through the skies above Gaza City. The tensions further mounted in fall due to continued shelling and arson balloons launches from Gaza into the Israeli territory and Israeli strikes on Palestinian targets in response to these actions.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said he had ordered the city to open public air raid shelters as a protective measure. Late Thursday, local media said that Egyptian mediators left the territory. Islamic Jihad quickly denied responsibility, says Slier.

Netanyahu warned Gaza's Hamas rulers on Sunday that Israel would not hesitate to launch a "large-scale operation" in Gaza if provoked. "We'll do whatever is necessary to return the peace and quiet to the Gaza border communities, and the entire south".

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