TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Rocket fired from Gaza triggered air raid sirens across Tel Aviv on Thursday night, about 80km north of Gaza – which is the Zionist regime of Israel’s densely populated commercial and cultural capital.
The rocket fire on Tel Aviv, the first since 2014, marks a significant escalation that caused Israel to launch air attacks on Gaza hours after the attack, according to Al Jazeera.
The incident raised fears of a major escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Explosions were heard in the Gaza Strip early on Friday and Palestinian witnesses said Israeli planes bombed Hamas security positions.
Israeli jets and helicopters hit around 100 Hamas-linked targets in Gaza on Thursday overnight, the Israeli Army claimed, RT reported.
Hamas denied responsibility for the attack on Tel Aviv, saying the rockets were launched when the group’s military wing was meeting with Egyptian mediators to try to strengthen a ceasefire with Israel, Al Jazeera reported.
In an unusual step that indicated Hamas was attempting to prevent further escalation, the interior ministry said the rocket fire went “against the national consensus” and promised to take action against the perpetrators.
Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, two Gaza armed factions, also denied responsibility.
Speaking to Palestinian news agency Quds Network, a spokesperson for the Islamic Jihad responded to Israel’s claims.
“These accusations are mere lies by the Israeli occupation,” Daoud Shihab said. “Our movement and its military wing the Al-Quds Brigades did not fire any rockets.”
Brigadier-General Ronen Manelis, the Israeli army’s chief spokesman, said officials had no prior warning of the attack and were trying to determine who fired the rockets.
Israel holds Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible for any firing from the territory.
The rocket salvo caused no damage or casualties, but it rattled Israeli nerves ahead of an April 9 election in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is seeking a fifth term.