Rockets fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv, explosions heard: Israeli military, witnesses

Air Raid Warning Sirens Go Off In Tel Aviv After Apparent Gaza Rocket Attack

Explosions have been heard in the Gaza Strip early on Friday as witnesses said Israeli planes bombed two security positions controlled by Hamas.

It wasn't immediately clear which group in Gaza was responsible for the surprise rocket fire, which occurred on the eve of weekly Hamas-spurred Friday mass rallies and riots along the Strip's border.

Initial reports claimed that Israel's Iron Dome system intercepted one of the rockets fired toward Tel Aviv but the IDF later said in a statement that no interceptions were made. Stilln "no damage or injuries were reported", it added in a statement to reporters.

Two sirens blared as loud explosions boomed in Tel Aviv, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Alarms were also reportedly triggered in Holon and other cities in central Israel.

Israeli analysts speculated that Palestinian militants opposed to any deal between Hamas and Israel were behind the launchings.

"Hamas violently suppresses its own people demonstrating against Hamas' rule & failures today and NOW fires rockets at cities in Israel". It's a first since Israel's 2014 campaign in Gaza.

'The Hamas organisation is the main organisation in the [Gaza] Strip.

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A Hamas official told the The Times of Israel that the terror group "has no interest in an escalation" with Israel.

The apparent rocket fire came in response to Israeli airstrikes, launched after an early rocket attack on Tel Aviv.

Israel's municipality announced that public bomb shelters in the Tel Aviv area would be opened.

Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed militant group that also has a large rocket arsenal, also denied firing the rockets. But he said there were no special instructions and encouraged residents to stick to their daily routines. Israel is holding national elections in less than a month.

"The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades affirms that it's not responsible for the rockets fired towards the enemy earlier tonight, especially considering they were shot off during a meeting between the Hamas leadership and the Egyptian security delegation about understandings pertaining to the Gaza Strip", the Brigades said.

"I suggest to Hamas, don't count on it", he told his Cabinet.

As tensions have risen in Gaza over Israel's lethal response to weekly protests at the frontier during the past year, militants in the enclave have fired hundreds of projectiles into surrounding areas, although not as far north as Tel Aviv.

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