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Israel returns fire after Gaza fires two rockets into Tel Aviv

2019-03-15

An explosion caused by Israeli air strikes is seen in Gaza City early Friday. Israeli warplanes attacked militant targets in the southern Gaza Strip early Friday in response to a rare rocket attack on the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. (Adel Hana / AP)

Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip were bombed early Friday morning by Israeli military aircraft in an act of retaliation.

The fired rockets were a measured response for the bombing of Tel Aviv hours earlier.

There were no immediate reports of casualties on either side, reported CNBC.

Six buildings used by the Islamist group’s security forces were struck in Gaza, but they had reportedly been evacuated as a precaution.

Witnesses said mighty explosions from the strikes jolted Gaza buildings as the night sky lit up in a fiery ball.

The forceful volley drew a statement of support for Israel.

“Hamas and other terror (organizations) continue to fail their people day after day and drag Gaza further and further down by constantly choosing violence,” tweeted White House Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt late Thursday. “This method will never work. Ever!”

Israeli military officials claimed to be targeting “terror sites” in Gaza. In a possible sign of further escalation, it said rocket sirens were sounded in Israeli communities near the Gaza border.

“Hamas carried out the rocket fire against Tel Aviv yesterday evening,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Avichay Adraee.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai ordered public air raid shelters to be opened as a protective measure, reported The Associated Press. But he encouraged residents to remain vigilant.

“Continue life as usual,” he told Channel 10 TV. “Be calm, but be alert.”