Israel: Hamas launches rocket attack on Tel Aviv

Israel: Hamas launches rocket attack on Tel Aviv

Hamas launched a rocket attack on Tel Aviv, with a direct hit on a building killing at least one person, according to Israeli media.

Residents ran to the air raid shelters and sirens sounded as explosions went off in the city on Tuesday evening.

Hamas said in a statement that it fired 130 rockets at Tel Aviv and its suburbs amid weeks of tension with Israel escalated into some of the most violent scenes since the 2014 war.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the terrorist group “will pay a heavy price for their belligerence”, while its defense minister warned that “buildings will continue to collapse in Gaza”.

A bus is seen burnt down after strikes in Holon, near Tel Aviv. Pic: AP
Firefighters fight their way through the wreckage at Holon. Pic: AP
Israeli medics treat a man injured in the airstrikes. Pic: AP

Videos posted on social media showed Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepting Hamas rockets over Tel Aviv and the southern city of Ashkelon.

Sky News correspondent Mark Stone described the strikes as “frankly unprecedented” and said they “were a complete game-changer.”

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Sky News correspondent Mark Stone was part of the crew that took cover during a missile attack.

The targeted attack on the building took place in the suburb of Holon, killing a 50-year-old Israeli woman, according to local doctors.

She saw the temporary closure of Israel’s main Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, which reopened around 10 p.m. local time.

The energy pipeline between Eilat and Ashkelon was also hit by rocket fire, Israel’s Channel 12 reported.

Trails of light are seen in Ashkelon as Israel's Iron Dome missile system intercepts rockets launched from Gaza into Israel
Trails of light visible in Ashkelon as Israel’s Iron Dome missile system intercepts rockets launched from Gaza into Israel

An elderly Israeli woman and her carer, who was of Indian nationality, had previously been confirmed dead in Hamas airstrikes on homes in the town of Ashkelon on Tuesday.

The deaths occurred after Israeli fighter jets, attack helicopters and drones hit more than 130 “Hamas military targets” in Gaza, including the home of a Hamas commander, according to the IDF .

Twenty-six Palestinians, including nine children, died as a result, a 13-story building collapsed after another strike nearby.

The attacks were in retaliation to a barrage of rockets, including six that landed near Jerusalem, which have been fired at Israel since Gaza Monday.

Doctors and security forces at the site of another strike in Rishon Lezion.  Pic: AP
Doctors and security forces at the site of another strike in Rishon Lezion. Pic: AP
Townspeople ran for safety as warning sirens sounded

Earlier today, Netanyahu threatened to launch larger attacks, saying: “After an assessment of the situation, it was decided that the power of the attacks and the frequency of the attacks would be increased. “

These comments echoed his earlier threat that Hamas strikes had “crossed a red line” and that Israel “will respond with great force.”

“We will not tolerate attacks on our land, our capital, our citizens and our soldiers. Whoever hits us will pay a heavy price, ”he said.

Hamas said on Tuesday that it “will not stop its resistance action as long as the Israeli occupation continues its aggression against the Palestinians.”

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13-story block hit by Israeli airstrike

Liverpool footballer Mo Salah appeared to weigh in on the conflict, insisting that “the violence and killing of innocent people end immediately”. “Enough is enough”, he commented in a message intended for Boris Johnson.

The latest violence comes amid rising tensions in Jerusalem and days of fighting at a major mosque in the holy city.

Hundreds of Palestinians were injured in just 24 hours in clashes with Israeli security forces in the courtyard outside the Al Aqsa Mosque and in the narrow streets of the Old City.

Hamas issued an ultimatum to the Israeli government to withdraw its forces from the mosque area, release all Palestinians detained during the day, and expel Jewish settlers from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

Israeli app monitoring rocket fire shows scale of attack in Tel Aviv
Israeli app that monitors rocket fire shows extent of attack in Tel Aviv

The militant group said it would retaliate at 6 p.m. on Monday if demands were not met.

Just after 6 p.m. explosions were heard in Jerusalem when Hamas rockets landed 13 km west of the city.


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