Gaza rockets targeted Tel Aviv, says IDF

IDF strikes over 100 Hamas targets after terrorists fire 11 rockets into Israel

This is the first time since "Operation Protective Edge" in 2014 that central Israel had been targeted by Gaza terrorists.

Following the first Israeli airstrikes, several additional rounds of rocket fire were launched into Israel.

Overnight, Israeli aircraft and helicopters strike dozens of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu's main rivalry in the upcoming elections, former army chief of staff Benny Gantz and leader of the Blue and White party said, "Only an aggressive and severe response" was necessary, "otherwise it will be impossible to renew our deterrence".

Israeli retaliatory airstrikes continued through early Friday while sirens warning of incoming projectiles from Gaza sounded in southern Israel.

At 8pm on Thursday (March 14), the commentators on Israel's evening news were upbeat, in spite of tensions still lingering between Israel and the radical Islamic Hamas, which dominates the Gaza Strip.

The sudden outburst of fighting comes at a sensitive time for both sides.

No injuries nor material damages were reported.

On Friday, Israeli media quoted defence officials as saying a preliminary investigation indicated the rockets were fired from Gaza by mistake.

The apparent misfire came as Gaza's Hamas rulers were in negotiations with Egyptian mediators about a truce deal with Israel.

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Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai told local television that one of the Gaza rockets "apparently fell into the sea, the other hit somewhere but not in Tel Aviv".

Netanyahu called an emergency meeting with top security officials, after which Israel mounted its response.

The call came hours after the protest was cancelled for the first time in almost a year after Israeli jets hit the enclave on Thursday evening, following the launching of rockets at Tel Aviv.

The escalation on Thursday followed a day of unrest in Gaza, where Hamas, the militant group that controls the Palestinian enclave, had forcibly put down demonstrations against deteriorating living conditions.

Explosions were heard in Tel Aviv and witnesses said interceptor missiles had detonated - although the military said no rockets were shot down.

Hamas possesses a vast arsenal of rockets and missiles, but it has sought to contain violence with Israel since the last war in 2014.

On Friday, Islamic Jihad's armed wing said in a statement that it had put its fighters on full alert to respond to Israeli attacks.

Hamas denied responsibility for the initial rocket attack and promised to take action against the perpetrators, saying such attacks went "against the national consensus".

He said that while "rogue factions" were behind recent Gaza "provocations", it "did not exempt Hamas" of responsibility.

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