Israeli warplanes strike Gaza after rockets fired towards Tel Aviv

Lester Mason
March 17, 2019

"I regret the folks in the Gaza Strip, probably Hamas, but I suspect we shouldn't speculate, fired the rockets and put Israelis at risk", Pompeo told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" co-anchor Brian Kilmeade.

The statement included photographs of several sites the military said it targeted, including what it called the headquarters of Hamas's West Bank operations, a rocket manufacturing site, and a naval post which it described as a weapons depot.

A statement from Hamas's military wing said the group was "not responsible for the rockets fired tonight towards the enemy", adding that it occurred during a visit by an Egyptian security delegation to Gaza.

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

Residents reported a number of rockets being fired back at Israel in response.

Netanyahu a year ago was criticized by members of his own government coalition for being soft on Hamas by agreeing to a cease-fire with that group after a spate of rocket attacks from Gaza toward communities in southern Israel. The Israeli military declined to comment on the reports.

The rocket fire on Tel Aviv, the first since 2014, mark a significant escalation that raised the likelihood of a harsh Israeli reprisal. There have been no reports of casualties or damage as of yet.

Two rockets struck Tel Aviv late on Thursday, taking Israel's military by surprise.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the midst of a tight re-election battle.

Israeli warplanes attacked militant targets in the southern Gaza Strip early Friday in response to a rare rocket attack
Israeli launches Gaza strikes after rockets fired at Tel Aviv

An initial investigation revealed that the two Iran-made Fajr rockets were launched during a meeting of Hamas officials and the visiting Egyptian mediation team, which suggests that the last thing Hamas wanted at that point was provoking Israel.

In Gaza, there was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip said four Palestinians were injured by the Israeli strikes overnight, including a married couple who were injured after their house was struck in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

An informal truce between Hamas and Israel had led to relative calm along the border, but recent weeks have seen another uptick in violence.

According to sources, the two rockets may have been launched as a result of a "misfire", prompting Israeli warning sirens to blare across the Jewish State for the first time since 2014.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians converge along the barrier that separates Gaza from Israel.

Danon slammed Hamas saying it uses civilians "as human shields" and that "a terrorist organization that tries to harm Israel will encounter a relentless and uncompromising force".

Hamas has denied any involvement in the rocket strikes.


Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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