Israel launches dozens of Gaza strikes after rockets target Tel Aviv

Israel launches dozens of Gaza strikes after rockets target Tel Aviv

Israel said Friday its aircraft struck dozens of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip overnight in response to rockets from the Palestinian enclave, including rare fire toward its economic capital Tel Aviv.

A Palestinian man walks past a crater on the ground following an Israeli air strike targeting a site belonging to Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on March 15, 2019.

The Israeli army said the Hamas is responsible for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it.

"We are aware of reports of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel and are closely monitoring the situation", a U.S. State Department official told JNS.

Israeli media received information from defense officials saying a preliminary investigation determined that the Hamas rockets were misfires.

Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon appealed the Security Council to denounce Hamas following the rocket attack on Tel Aviv.

No injuries nor material damages were reported.

According to Haaretz, the IDF opted to ignore its own estimates in its reaction to the Gaza attack on Tel Aviv and retaliated despite the assessments. Among the terrorist targets was the offices of the Hamas headquarters in Gaza City responsible for directing terrorist operatives in Judea and Samaria, building terrorist infrastructures and transferring money to those responsible for terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens.

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Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies and have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group seized power in Gaza in 2007.

The attack Thursday night was the first time that Tel Aviv has been targeted since a 2014 war.

About four hours after the launches, the IDF announced it had begun striking targets in Gaza in response.

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

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

Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees, two smaller Gaza armed factions, also denied responsibility.

Israel has accused Hamas, the terror organization that rules the Strip, of orchestrating the clashes and using them as cover to breach the border fence and carry out attacks.

Israel's Education Minister and security cabinet member Naftali Bennett urged: "The time has come to defeat Hamas and eliminate its leaders, I am calling on the prime minister to convene the cabinet and to force the IDF to present a plan for the destruction of Hamas".

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