On Thursday night, rocket alarms went off in the Israeli capital of Tel Aviv for the first time since 2014. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that it had registered "two launches from the Gaza Strip toward Israeli territory."
We have just started striking terror sites in Gaza. Details to follow.— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) 14 марта 2019 г.
According to Palestinian eyewitnesses, cited by Reuters, several blasts were heard early on Friday from what they claimed to be IDF jets' attack on Hamas positions.
IDF said Friday that they could confirm that the rockets fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv earlier "were launched by the Hamas".
Notably, Hamas said earlier in a statement, quoted by Reuters, they were "not responsible for the firing of the rockets tonight towards the enemy. They were fired as a meeting was underway between the leadership of the Hamas movement and the Egyptian security delegation over the understandings regarding the Gaza Strip".
Meanwhile, moments after the IDF launched its air raid against alleged Hamas targets in Gaza, alarm sirens went off in the southern part of Israel, signaling possible Palestinian shelling.
🚨INITIAL REPORT: Sirens sounded in the Eshkol Regional Council. Details to follow. pic.twitter.com/5oj58C3wZl— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) March 14, 2019
After a while, the IDF issued another rocket alert.
🚨Sirens sounding in southern Israel🚨— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) 15 марта 2019 г.
Moments after the issued rocket alert the IDF said it had intercepted one of the projectiles fired from Gaza toward Israel.
The Israelis usually respond to alleged Palestinian shelling by attacking military targets belonging to Hamas, holding the movement responsible for any aggressive actions originating from the territory of the Hamas-controlled enclave.
The new wave of escalation near Israel’s border with Gaza began last March, when Palestinian protests, dubbed the Great March of Return, kicked off. The tensions further mounted in fall due to continued shelling and arson balloons launches from Gaza into Israeli territory and Israeli strikes on Palestinian targets in response to those actions.
DETAILS TO FOLLOW