Rockets Fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv, Explosions Heard

Rockets Fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv, Explosions Heard

Israeli military confirms two rockets were fired at Tel Aviv area, as rocket alert sirens rocked the entire Dan region in central Israel on Thursday evening.

Residents report hearing at least two loud explosions.

The newspaper said the Iron Dome defense system was activated and intercepted the missiles. "No damage or injuries were reported", the officials said.

Tel Aviv has not been attacked by rocket or missile fire since a 2014 war with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. 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 and diplomatic credentials.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility in the enclave, where its dominant Hamas group has been engaged in talks with Egypt on a long-term ceasefire with Israel.

"The Hamas organization is the main organization in the Strip", chief military spokesman Brigadier-General Ronen Manelis told Israel Radio, according to the Reuters news agency.

Israel's municipality announced that public bomb shelters in the Tel Aviv area would be opened. They include Salafists inspired by the Islamic State group, as well as Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed armed organization that also possesses a formidable rocket arsenal.

Since the protests began, one Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper along the frontier and another was killed during an undercover raid into Gaza.

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