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Israeli Army Strikes in Gaza After Rockets Target Tel Aviv in First Since 2014 War

The Israeli army attacked Thursday overnight targets in Gaza Strip, hours after two rockets were fired at Tel Aviv from Gaza, a first since Israel’s 2014 campaign in Gaza.

According to the Israeli military, the Iron Dome missile defense system was activated. It is assumed that the rockets landed in open areas due to the fact that no damage or injuries were reported.

The last time rocket alerts were activated in Tel Aviv was two years ago, in what turned out to be a false alarm. The flare-up comes three weeks before Israel holds its general election.

>> Read more: On Israel’s Gaza border, praying for an end to Netanyahu’s ‘Hamas government’ ■ With Gaza a priority, Israel seeks to quell Temple Mount tensions | Analysis

The Israeli military said it was “attacking terror targets in Gaza,” without providing further details. Palestinian media reported Israeli attacks near the Khan Yunis port, in southern Gaza.

According to security officials and witnesses Israeli drones, helicopters and F16 war jets hovered over the Gaza Strip. Witnesses also said that several powerful explosions were heard in the southern Gaza Strip and in Gaza City’s southern suburbs, while security officials said that several military facilities were targeted and no injuries reported.

The air strikes hit six buildings used by Hamas’s security forces, which which had been evacuated as a precaution. Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra also said in a tweet that the Israeli strikes did not cause any civilian casualties.

Meanwhile, rocket alarm sounded in Israeli communities near the Gaza border, but the Israel Defense Forces said the launch that triggered it failed and a rocket landed in Gaza.

Shortly thereafter, alarm sounded again in Israel’s south. The Israeli army said two rockets were launched from Gaza, one of them intercepted by Iron Dome. with no injuries or damage reported.

Earlier, rocket sirens blared throughout Tel Aviv, with Israelis reported hearing that they heard blasts in the area.

Military spokesman Ronen Manelis told Channel 13 News that “we did not have advance knowledge of this fire today, and in fact it surprised us.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also acts as defense minister, held an emergency security consultation in army headquarters in Tel Aviv. According to a political source, the meeting ended Thursday overnight with some “decisions made,” without providing any further information. Read more

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Israeli Army Strikes in Gaza After Rockets Target Tel Aviv in First Since 2014 War