Two Rockets Fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv

The cancellation, the first of its kind in a year, came after Israel said its aircraft struck more than 100 Hamas targets in Gaza overnight in response to the firing of two rockets at Tel Aviv, for the first time since the 2014 Gaza War. No damage or injuries were reported.

According to Gaza's health ministry, a man and a woman were seriously injured when a missile hit a house in the southern town of Rafah.

The initial blasts from the Israeli airstrikes in southern Gaza were so powerful that smoke could be seen in Gaza City, 15 miles to the north.

Netanyahu, who doubles as Israel's defense minister, was conferring with military and security staff, his office said.

He also pointed out that his group is "committed to the ceasefire understandings [between Hamas and the Jewish state]" as long as Israel "halts its aggression against the Palestinian people".

The late-night attack Thursday on Tel Aviv, Israel's densely populated commercial and cultural capital, marked a dramatic escalation in hostilities. The time has come to defeat Hamas once and for all.

A month ahead of these elections, Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party stands in second place in opinion polls, behind the centrist Blue and White alliance, led by former military chief of staff Benny Gantz and ex-finance minister Yair Lapid. Since 2007, the Sunni supremacist terror group Hamas, which is the Palestinian-Arab offshoot of the global Muslim Brotherhood and whose founding organizational charter calls for the death of all Jews the world over, has governed the Strip.

Hamas attacked a group of Gazans who were protesting the harsh conditions on the strip.

It comes with the one-year anniversary of mass protests and clashes along the Gaza-Israel border fence approaching on March 30.

Meanwhile, tensions flared Thursday between Hamas and the Palestinians civilians.

But Israel's military concluded that Hamas was responsible. Hamas possesses a large arsenal of rockets and missiles capable of striking deep inside Israel. "Similar protests might develop in the coming days in other parts of Gaza".

No militant groups have said they fired the rockets at Tel Aviv.

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

At first it was believed to have been from a rocket being shot down, but the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said no rockets were intercepted and that it assumed they had landed in open areas.

A delegation from Egypt, which has acted as mediator between Israel and Hamas, was in Gaza before the strikes and reportedly left after warnings to do so. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since Hamas sized control of Gaza in 2007. "We'll do whatever is necessary to return the peace and quiet to the Gaza border communities, and the entire south".

Vanessa Coleman

Comments