Israel launches Gaza strikes after rockets fired at Tel Aviv

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 15, 2019 - Duration: 01:26s

Israel launches Gaza strikes after rockets fired at Tel Aviv

Israeli military aircraft bombed Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip, hours after two rockets were launched from the Palestinian enclave at Tel Aviv in the first such attack since a 2014 war.

Rough cut (no reporter narration).

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Israel launches Gaza strikes after rockets fired at Tel Aviv

(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Israeli military aircraft bombed Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip on Friday (March 15), hours after two rockets were launched from the Palestinian enclave at Tel Aviv in the first such attack since a 2014 war.

There was no immediate word of casualties in the air strikes that hit six buildings used by the dominant Islamist group's security forces, and which had been evacuated as a precaution.

Witnesses said powerful explosions from the air strikes rocked buildings in Gaza and lit the skies over targeted sites.

The Israeli military said it was targeting "terror sites" in Gaza.

In a possible sign of further escalation, it said rocket sirens were sounded in Israeli communities near the Gaza border.

On Thursday (March 14) night, the sirens howled farther north, in Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial capital, set off by what the military said were two incoming, longer-range rockets from Gaza.

That salvo caused no casualties or damage, missing built-up areas.

But it rattled Israeli nerves ahead of an April 9 election in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term on the strength of his national security credentials.

Explosions were heard in Tel Aviv and witnesses said Iron Dome interceptor missiles were fired skyward and detonated - although the military said no rockets were shot down.

It was the first such attack on the city since the 2014 Gaza war between Hamas and Israel.

There have been several smaller rounds of fighting since, reined in by Egyptian and U.N.

Mediations.

"This was basically a surprise," military spokesman Brigadier-General Ronen Manelis told Israel Radio on Thursday.

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