Missiles Fired Toward Tel Aviv First Time Since 2014

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said on Wednesday, after air raid sirens sounded in Tel Aviv for the first time since summer of 2014, that it had registered launches of two rockets from the Gaza Strip.

An Israeli military spokesman cited by Reuters said the incident was under investigation. Local media reported that several residents had heard sounds similar to those of an explosion.

The press service of the Israel Defence Forces confirmed that the sirens had sounded for the first time since summer 2014. At least two missiles were fired from the Gaza Strip toward the Tel Aviv area, Reuters reported, citing local media. One rocket was intercepted by the anti-missile Iron Dome system, according to media reports.

“Two launches from the Gaza Strip toward Israeli territory were registered”, the IDF press service said in a press release.

Israel’s Channel 10 news said Thursday, citing anonymous military officials, that one of the rockets landed in an uninhabited area, and that there were no reports of injuries.

Accordging to AFP, an Israeli military spokesman told local reporters that no interceptions were made by Iron Dome aerial defence systems. Similarly, Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai told local broadcaster, cited by AFP, one of the Gaza rockets “apparently fell into the sea, the other hit somewhere but not in Tel Aviv”.

In Gaza, both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, an allied group, issued statements denying any responsibility for the attack, which came just over three weeks ahead of Israel’s 9 April election, according to AFP.

However, IDF said Friday they could confirm that the rockets fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv earlier “were launched by the Hamas”.

The IDF had previously made public intelligence about an alleged new Hezbollah-affiliated terror cell operating in Syria’s Golan Heights.

Tensions between the Israelis and the Palestinians near the fence separating Gaza from Israel have been mounting since last March, which marked the beginning of the Great March of Return. The situation on the Gaza border has reportedly escalated due to continued shelling and launches of arson balloons from Gaza into the Israeli territory, and the shooting and killing of protesters, medics, journalists and children near the border by IDF soldiers.

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