Dozens of rockets fired from Gaza were launched toward central Israel. Red Alert sirens were heard over several cities and entire regions, the Israel Defense Forces reported on Thursday night.
The most recent rocket barrages were reported in the cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod and Tel Aviv.
Footage of the Iron Dome interceptions over Ashkelon a short while ago— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) May 12, 2021
(Video: רונן אברהמי - מצב בטחוני גלובלי) pic.twitter.com/4L1IpnE68n
Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system reportedly repelled some attacks from Palestinian missiles.
The sirens were heard over the skies of the city of Ashkelon, the country's capital Tel Aviv and several other towns, according to reports. The IDF said that sirens were activated in northern Israel as well.
🚨 Sirens are sounding in southern, central AND northern Israel. 🚨— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 12, 2021
Israelis living all across the country are running for shelter as Hamas terrorists fire more rockets at Israel.
Following the reports of rocket barrages, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement, said on Thursday that it had fired rockets at Tel Aviv in response to the ongoing Israeli strikes on the Palestinian enclave.
"Al-Qassam Brigades has carried out a rocket strike on Tel Aviv in response to the ongoing bombardments of the civilian facilities in the Gaza Strip," the Hamas military wing said in a statement.
Shortly after they reportedly announced that they fired rockets toward Jerusalem as well, although no sirens have been reported in the city at the moment.
Videos of recent missile barrages and the situation on the ground have been circulating on social media. The explosions can be heard on a video shot at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport.
More footage of interceptions over central Israel— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) May 12, 2021
(Video: הקבינט הביטחוני) pic.twitter.com/RZXeRopFJr
According to local media reports, another barrage of rockets has been launched at central Israeli settlements, forcing residents of Or Yehuda, Kfar Chabad, Savyon, and Rishon Lezion to seek refuge in bomb shelters.
Sirens are currently being heard from Rehovot to Shimshit in the Galilee, northwest of the Arab city of Nazareth, according to reports.
In response to the current escalation, the Israeli air forces conducted retaliatory raids on the Gaza Strip, reportedly destroying the Hamas internal security headquarters.
IAF airstrikes in Gaza Strip tonight. pic.twitter.com/Iz4wuLp3QS— Status-6 (@Archer83Able) May 12, 2021
Absolutely massive strikes in Central Gaza on the live steam just now. pic.twitter.com/TiwmuoBpcQ— Kyle Glen (@KyleJGlen) May 12, 2021
Shortly after, the IDF released a video of air attacks by Israeli fighters on targets in Gaza.
צה"ל תקף מבנים אסטרטגיים של ארגון הטרור חמאס וסיכל מספר פעילים בארגון.— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) May 12, 2021
בשעתיים האחרונות, מטוסי קרב וכלי טיס של צה"ל תקפו מבנים בעלי חשיבות אסטרטגית של ארגון הטרור חמאס. בצילום: סיכול חוליה של הכוח הימי של חמאס <<< pic.twitter.com/rgZWpZjglK
Earlier in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged that Israel's retaliation is "just the beginning" and that Hamas and other Palestinian militants will pay with their lives for the attacks.
Since the fire exchange erupted, Gaza-based fighters, including Hamas, have fired more than 1,500 rockets at Israel, making it the single largest assault on the Jewish state this year. Although Israel's Iron Dome air defenses intercepted the majority of the missiles, some managed to get through, causing damage to buildings and vehicles and killing at least six people.