Gaza fighting ebbs, Gaza rockets reportedly a misfire

Lamar Ellis
March 17, 2019

Four Palestinians were wounded in the Gaza strikes, the enclave's health ministry said, while no Israelis were reported injured.

Attack helicopters and warplanes launched airstrikes on Hamas underground rocket manufacturing sites and unmanned aerial aircraft, among other targets, it said.

More than 40 locations were targeted with about 100 strikes, the source said.

The rockets set off Israel's Iron Dome interceptor missiles, but the IDF has not reported that any of the Hamas rockets were shot down.

Red alert sirens were sounded after several missiles were fired from the besieged Gaza Strip towards southern and central Israel, Hebrew-language news media reported on predawn Friday.

The Israeli Army strikes in Gaza on Thursday night after Rockets target Tel Aviv, the Israeli military reported, according to Haaretz and Aljazeera.

After the rocket fire at Tel Aviv, the Israeli army said it was conducted by Hamas. The military said several rockets were intercepted by its air defence systems, and there were no reports of injuries.

Naftali Bennett, a right-wing member of Netanyahu's security cabinet whose party is competing against the veteran prime minister's for votes in the coming election, demanded that Israel resume its assassination of Hamas chiefs.

Palestinians inspect the damage of destroyed building belongs to Hamas ministry of prisoners hit by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City early Friday Fri
Palestinians inspect the damage of destroyed building belongs to Hamas ministry of prisoners hit by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City early Friday Fri

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 cease-fire between Gaza militants and Israel.

A security official briefed on the situation, who declined to be identified by name or nationality, told Reuters the launch was "the result of an error - that an attack on Israel was not intended".

"In keeping with the public interest, the commission has made a decision to exceptionally postpone its activities scheduled for this day", the body which organizes the protests said in a statement.

Forces also set up checkpoints on roads leading to Gaza City to prevent people from joining what some have described as a rebellion against the 12-year long Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip.

Thursday's rocket salvo was the first to be fired toward the greater Tel Aviv area since Israel's devastating 51-day onslaught against Gaza in mid-2014.

The organisers of Palestinian demonstrations that usually take place along the Gaza border have canceled Friday's protest, hours after an exchange of fire between Gaza and Israel flared up tensions in the region.

Prior to that the last attacks on the Tel Aviv area came during the July 2014 war between Israel and Gaza militants. A smaller militant group that also possesses a large arsenal of rockets, the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, also denied involvement.

"I'd suggest to Hamas - don't count on it".

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