Palestinians Call Off Protests Along Gaza Border After Israeli Raid - Organisers

Israeli attack

"Two rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory".

The army said early Friday that targets included an office complex in Gaza City, an underground complex that served as Hamas' main rocket-manufacturing site, and a center used for a Hamas drone program.

Israeli officials say that amounts to calling for the Jewish state's destruction, and accuse Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, of orchestrating the protests.

More than 40 locations were targeted with about 100 strikes, the source said.

Tel Aviv and Rishon Lezion both announced they planned to open public shelters and reports from Gaza stated that Hamas had begun evacuating military posts, anticipating retaliatory strikes from Israel.

Sirens were also sounded in Israeli communities near the Gaza border.

The March of Return protests have taken place weekly along the border since last March and have periodically escalated into major flareups between the Israeli military and Gaza-based terror groups.

This is the first attack on Tel Aviv since the 2014 Gaza war between Hamas and Israel. The military said several rockets were intercepted by its air defence systems, and there were no reports of injuries.

Hebrew-language news outlets reported that locals heard loud explosions after three missiles were fired Thursday overnight at Tel Aviv City, in central Israel.

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

Shortly before the rocket attack, Hamas police on Thursday violently broke up a rare protest by demonstrators angry about the dire living conditions in Gaza.

Not only is Egypt in the midst of another effort to achieve a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, but Israel is just weeks away from a general election.

"Fighter planes, combat helicopters and (other) aircrafts attacked some 100 terrorist targets of the Hamas terrorist organization throughout the Gaza Strip". The assessment indicated that Hamas had no intention of escalating violence with Israel.

But it marked the first time that Tel Aviv, some 50 miles north of Gaza, has been targeted by rocket fire since a 2014 war with Gaza militants.

In a statement early Friday, the army said "we can confirm" that Hamas carried out the rocket attack. A smaller militant group, the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, also possesses a large arsenal of rockets, though it too denied involvement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rushed to the military headquarters in Tel Aviv and was conferring with senior army officials about a response.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians converge along the barrier that separates Gaza from Israel.

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