Shortly after midnight, the ending time of the recent ceasefire, a massive barrage of rockets was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the Israel Defense Forces reported.
"After threatening to fire rockets at Tel Aviv, Hamas has fired a heavy barrage of rockets from Gaza into central & southern Israel," the country's military wrote on Twitter. "Men, women, children, and the elderly are currently in shelters, protecting themselves from rockets aimed at them."
The sound of sirens was heard all over the southern and the central parts of the country including the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beersheba, according to reports. Soon, the sirens were followed by the sound of explosions. Videos of recent salvos have also begun to circulate on social media showing the operation of Israel's Iron Dome air defense system.
On some of the videos, alleged ballistic missile launches could be seen, used for the first time in the current conflict, identifiable by analysts due to their near-vertical launch projectiles. However, according to other local media, those projectiles were fired from heavy artillery used by Palestinian militants.
Vertically launched missiles or Rockets yes totally different.. pic.twitter.com/i1GitBT5C6— INTELSky (@Intel_Sky) May 15, 2021
Earlier, the Hamas military wing allegedly informed the residents of one of Tel Aviv's tallest buildings, Moshe Aviv Tower, to urgently evacuate, as the building was to be targeted by rockets from Gaza, in retaliation for the many high-story buildings destroyed by the Israelis in the enclave.
Several impacts were reported in Tel Aviv and some other Israeli cities, as can be seen on a video showing alleged rocket impact that has surpassed Iron Dome in Tel Aviv.
Unconfirmed video claims to show multiple impacts in Tel Aviv pic.twitter.com/MfnyDx6wo9— ASB News / MILITARY〽️ (@ASBMilitary) May 15, 2021
On Saturday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in a televised address, stressing that "no country would tolerate this," in a reference to the latest attacks. Netanyahu pledged to continue to respond "forcefully" for as long as it takes, "until the security of our people is reinstated and restored."
אני אומר לראשי הטרור: אתם לא יכולים להתחבא. לא מעל הקרקע ולא מתחת לקרקע. אף אחד אינו חסין.— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 15, 2021
אנחנו מקריסים את מגדלי הטרור. אלה מגדלים שמשמשים כמפקדות ומשרדים לארגוני הטרור.
המבצע הזה יימשך ככל שנדרש עד שנשיג את היעדים שלנו ונביא שקט וביטחון לכל אזרחי ישראל. pic.twitter.com/vphegYYY2P
The prime minister said that the country's military had not only targeted the multiple-story buildings that house Hamas intelligence and military operatives headquarters but also struck sub-terrain tunnels used by Palestinian militants to infiltrate Israeli territory and to defend the Gaza Strip.
According to another video shared on social media, rocket salvoes at Tel Aviv were visible from high points and Jerusalem, which is 65 kilometers away.
The situation on the border between Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip escalated intensely on May 10 evening. As of Saturday evening, since the beginning of the escalation, over 2,300 rockets have been sent from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, and about 400 of them have fallen inside the Gaza Strip.
According to the latest information, about eight civilians and one soldier were killed in Israel. Israel has also struck hundreds of attacks on the Gaza Strip. The number of Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes has reached 145, including 41 children.