You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Rockets fired from Gaza target Tel Aviv for first time since 2014

The Guardian logo The Guardian 14/03/2019 Oliver Holmes in Jerusalem
a group of people on a beach: An Israeli Iron Dome rocket interceptor battery deployed near the Gaza Strip. © Reuters An Israeli Iron Dome rocket interceptor battery deployed near the Gaza Strip.

Militants in Gaza have fired two rockets towards Tel Aviv, the first such attack since the war between Israel and Hamas in 2014.

Rocket sirens wailed in the densely populated Mediterranean city on Thursday evening, alerting residents to rush to bomb shelters. Videos posted online by locals showed empty streets and captured the blare of “code red” sirens, used to warn of imminent attacks.

There were no reports of damage or casualties, the Israeli army said, and no group in Gaza immediately claimed the attack. As well as the strip’s rulers, Hamas, other armed factions operate in the territory, including Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed organisation that has launched rockets in the past.

As tensions have risen in Gaza over Israel’s lethal response to weekly protests at the frontier during the past year, militants in the enclave have fired hundreds of projectiles into surrounding areas, although not as far north as Tel Aviv. Israel’s military has responded with widespread airstrikes.

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, led an urgent meeting with senior military officials after the attempted strike to discuss a response, local media reported.

Earlier on Thursday, Hamas security forces in Gaza violently dispersed hundreds of Palestinians protesting against dire living conditions. Footage of the rally showed police beating demonstrators in the streets and gunfire could be heard.

The rare public show of dissent followed recent tax hikes. Social media posts by supporters of the protest were accompanied with the hashtag “we want to live” in Arabic.

The United Nations said in 2017 that a decade after Hamas seized power, the strip had effectively become “unliveable” for its 2 million inhabitants. Trapped under a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade, residents suffer limited access to clean water, fresh food and have to cope with a collapsed health system.

More From The Guardian

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon